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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 



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*P«MP 



(DYLLSS 
feSPAIN 

VARNISHED • PICTURED 
OP-TRAVEL- IN 
TKE- PENINSULA 




BY 



ROWLAND THIRLMERE, ^se^.oij 



LONDON: ELKIN MATHEWS 
VIGO STREET MDCCCXCVII 



V4 



#4. 



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THE NEW YORK 

PUBLICLIBRARY 

ASTOR, LENOX AND 
TILDEN FOUNDATIONS. 

1898. 



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TO MY FRIENDS 









> J 



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PREFACE 

tn offering this little book of travel to the public I 
do not claim to have written an exhaustive survey of 
the Spanish provinces through which I have passed : 
that would be a labour, not of weeks, but of years. 
This volume has no pretensions, and I trust it will be 
understood that whatever has been set down in its 
pages consists merely of impressions that fixed them- 
selves on my mind during a very hurried journey. 

My love for Spain, however, has so developed, that 
I hope some day to give the world a deeper study of 
that beautiful country, and one more worthy of its 
fascinating people than this collection of sketches. 

2?. 7\ 



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TABLE OF CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I '- 

From London to San Sebastian 

A pessimist — Two ecclesiastics — Paris — A night in the 
train— Iran — Three Spanish ladies — Table manners. 

Chapter II 

In the Province ofGuip&zcoa : San Sebastian f 

Night in a strange country — The Castillo de la Mota — < 

A magnificent view — Burial-place of British soldiers. i 

Chapter III 

l f 

In the Province of Guip&zcoa : from Beasain to *>} 

Cegama 

The bread of St. Mark — A Mistress Quickly at Beasain — 
A pleasant drive — Wild boar — Stolid peasantry — Flax 

fields — Feudal Segura — Spring at Cegama — The Alcalde — i - 

The chicory mill — A feast at the inn — The sacristy — A visit * I 

to the notary — The lawyer's jokes — Poor Petra I 

Chapter IV 

An Evening at Zum&rraga y \ 

Basque dalesmen — A novelist — Antiquity of the Basque j 

language — Honeymooners — The silence of the. night — A 
tavern scene — The bell-frog — Music of the nightingale. 



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X TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Chapter V 

Zumdrraga to Bilbao 

A nanrow-guage railway— Quiet Vergara— Brown-roofed 
Eibar— The peaks near Durango— A tragedy. 

Chapter VI 

Arrigoriaga 

The Norte railway — A mountain scene — The breath of 
spring—Childhood — The five little doves— A partridge eagle 
— An idyll of Theocritus— Assault and battery— A chat with 
the cura — Vizcayan game — Local wit and humour. 

Chapter VII 

Pamplona and Villava 

The valley of the Araquil — A glorious sunset — My friend 
X — The Perla hotel — Story of a bereavement — Noise of 
bells — The tree of love — Day pyrotechnics — Perfume of the 
bean-fields — A culprit sheep — View of Pamplona — A typical 
Spanish landscape — The fisherman of the Arga — Villava — 
Exhilarating air. 

Chapter VIII 

Pamplona II 

Vesper time — A love scene in the Cathedral— At the 
theatre — Stage anachronisms — Spanish politeness — A feast 
day — The procession — An old duchess. 

Chapter IX 

San Miguel and Ir&rzun 

A smoke-blackened interior — Pork cutlets — An irascible 
Frenchman — A ride on muleback — San Miguel — Wolves 
and bears — Arcady — A prescience of age — A brown hamlet — 
Impressions of the peasantry — An exquisite scene — The home 
of the vultures — Morose shepherds— The "Two Sisters" 
rocks — A lammergeyer — A Rugby forward— The true village 
of North Spain— Shadows after sunset— A sweet-souled 
labourer. 



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TABLE OF CONTENTS XI 

Chapter X 

Pamplona to Rivaforada 

At cock-crow — Story of the bougie — Birds at matins — 
The flower-flecked plain— Reflections— The broad Ebro — 
A fellow-traveller — A quotation from Ruskin — The bridge 
of TudeJa — A henpecked husband — The flames of the pop- 
pies — A» ideal girl — Farewell to Rivaforada. 

Chapter XI 

Rivaforada to Zaragoza 

Green vineyards— An essay in Spanish verse — A garro- 
chista and his hunchback wife — The bulls of Portillo— Es- 
pronceda's sonnet to the nightingale — Discretion itself— The 
heart of Aragon — Weird and desolate hills. 

Chapter XII 

Zaragoza I 

By the river — Three gipsies — The great grandame — 
George JJorrow — My fortune — Reflections. 

Chapter XIII 

Zaragoza II 

(A Reminiscence) 

The year 1890 — A Catalan litterateur — Creation out 
of nothing — Spanish painters of to-day — A discussion — 
TTie central tableland — Disafforestation — Garinoain — Une 
Americaine — A magnificent sunset — Crowded hotels— A 
lodging at last — The Calle San Lorenzo— A dungeon — Four 
beautiful beds— Fright of Madame V. — Encounter with an 
officer — The habitation de dormir — The alcove — Placido, the 
apothecary — A humorous situation — Mosquitoes and their 
kindred — The tragedy of the morning — The Catholic Con- 
gress — A Corrida de Novillos— The -character of Mary, Queen 
of Scots — Living poets of Spain — Lerida. 



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XU TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Chapter XIV 

Zaragoza to Barcelona 

Pilgrims homeward-bound — Gallegos — The Hibernia of 
Spain — Pyrenean peaks — Cornlands — A geologist — Dino- 
saurs and dragons — Statuette of a pelota player — Urban 
degeneration — Hope for the future — Vineyards and wines— 
A British vintage — Demand for the restitution of Gibraltar — 
The llano of Urgel— A verbal affray— The old castle of 
Santa F6 — Plumy pines — The wild plains — Familiar flowers 
— The pinnacles of Montserrat — Omelettes — The life-blood 
of Spain — A leper at Monistrol — Bacalao — Song of the Stock 
Exchange — A perfumed hayfield. 

Chapter XV 

Barcelona 

Orange blossoms — Hercules and the nightingale — Perfect 
happiness — "Half moon," the boatman — His worship the 
Alcalde — Songs on the sea — Mackerel — Roger de Lauria — 
A sea-fight at night — The Spanish character— A rotten 
municipalism — Promenade of the Flowers — "La florista 
morena " — The breakwater — Beautiful Barcelona — The grey 
Mediterranean — Description of a stone. 

Chapter XVI 

Argentina 

The day of rest and pleasure — Bathers — A duel with 
polypi — Ruddy hills — Under the planes — Spring visitors — 
A country meal — The rain of the roses — An idyllic scene 
— Flowers of Cataluna — Exquisite forgetfulness — Afternoon 
reflections — A feathered Catullus — Giraud and the trouba- 
dour — A blossom of Britain— "Wie riihrend "!— A quota- 
tion from Campoamor — A Tennysonian woman — " / Que 
locos los inglesesl" — A "partridge path" — Perfumes of the 
night — " La vida es sueno." 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 



FROM LONDON TO SAN SEBASTIAN 

Before my departure for the South I dined at 
the restaurant attached to Victoria Station, con- 
l sumed with regrets at leaving England in her 

/ April beauty. My vis-h-vis was an old gentleman 

whose face bore a strong resemblance to a 
collie's. In the midst of his sarcastic allusions 
to the barbarisms of civilization — which made 
him specially interesting — he accidentally dis- 
closed the fact that he was a breeder of collies. 
Therefore I could not but reflect upon the extra- 
ordinary facility with which man becomes pos- 
sjessed of many of the characteristics of the 
animals of which he makes hobbies. It very 
often happens that the person who owns a bull- 
dog has the lower jaw excessively developed, 



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2 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

and that anyone who takes pride in lap- 
dogs is a timid, inoffensive being. Collies are 
noted for a somewhat vicious habit of snapping, 
and my new acquaintance with the canine nose 
and still more canine teeth was certainly a snap- 
per. He snapped at everything, even at himself. 
He was a pessimist of the first order, with an 
inordinate fondness for port and the greenest of 
green cheese. When I expressed a doubt as to 
the safety of railway travelling in Spain, he 
tossed his head with an affectation of supreme 
carelessness. 

" Never mind," he said, his black eyes flash- 
ing, " never mind if a crash does come ; better 
have it now when you're young. When you 
have passed the grand climacteric your views of 
life will change. You wont heed railway acci- 
dents very much when you arrive at the age of 
sixty-five. One of my friends is ninety-three 
to-day, and when I called to congratulate him, 
I found him in the nurse's arms being carried 
about like a baby. Now, I dont want to go on 
quite so long as that. After making a lot of 
money, one cant enjoy it; death comes, and 
then some fool very kindly squanders the results 
of life-long labour. Never be afraid to die 
young." 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 3 

After this man had given me a learned lecture 
upon Silurian rocks, and spoken charmingly of 
the exquisite beauty of Cattleyas, he told me 
of his exceeding loneliness in the world. There- 
upon I was seized with a desire to ask him to 
accompany me upon my journey to the Penin- 
sula, but somehow I could not screw up my 
courage to speaking point ; and so I reluctantly 
bade him good-night, stepped into the Dover 
train, and found myself in the company of two 
jolly Roman Catholic priests and a young couple 
who were setting forth on their honeymoon. 
The bride was rather plain ; he was exceedingly 
handsome, six and a half feet in height and 
broad in proportion. She was tartly sweet, as 
a damson pinched by September frost ; capri- 
cious as the wind in the month of May. I 
could not but feel a prescience of the heart- 
burnings which would inevitably afflict her when 
her adored one became tired of her jealous and 
exacting little ways. 

The ecclesiastics were going to Lourdes and 

to Lisbon. They behaved like schoolboys until 

the Channel waves reminded them of the sterner 

facts of existence. At Calais the bride, still 

carrying a pathetic bunch of draggled roses and 

heliotrope, stepped into a coupe~lit4oiletU, her 

b — 2 



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4 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

white, happy face a thing to remember and re- 
fledt upon. The Padres turned in with me. 

" Well, and what shall we talk about ? " said 
one, rubbing his hands and looking as much like 
Friar Tuck as it is possible for any mortal to do. 

" Oh, I am not slow in observing charadter," 
said the other, who had a face like the portraits 
of Ignacio Loyola, " and I should therefore ima- 
gine that the most interesting subject one could 
possibly discuss would be yourself." 

" Ah ! ah ! " laughed the first, " I did not know 
until you told me what a man of deep culture you 
are." 

" Come, come," said his friend, " you're getting 
touchy. Let me remind you of what the French- 
man said — ' Lead is never bright till it's cut.' " 

Whereat Friar Tuck put on his skull-cap and 
collapsed upon his oreiller. 

Paris was reached in a raw east wind, which 
subsided before sunset. About five o'clock I 
sallied forth into the brilliance of an exquisite 
afternoon. The incomparable city looked her 
best. The chestnuts of the Bois and the Champs 
£lys£es were all in fullest flower, and their fallen 
petals littered the footpath. There is a sense of 
cleanliness, brightness, and gaiety in Paris which 
one seldom finds elsewhere. It is possible to 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 5 

keep one's linen free from blacks in the com- 
paratively smokeless air, and it is likewise, pos- 
sible to part with all one's money before one can 
say Jack Robinson. 

The place has changed considerably since 
Sterne and La Fleur found amusement in its 
inexhaustible variety, but the inhabitants still 
retain the old-world sweetness and courtliness 
of manner, a virtue which fascinates the fair 
Americaine and the hyperborean princess. 

As the train rolled through the broad lands of 
France I was awakened every now and again by 
the jolting of the carriages, and then it was that 
I heard the songs of the nightingales. Their 
dulcet cries seemed to be the very voice of 
spring, the delightful thanksgiving of the warm 
earth, filling my soul with the splendour and 
happiness of the South. All through the night 
they sang on, quite heedless of the shrieks of the 
Bordeaux express. And when the grey morning 
shed its faint, chill light into the compartment — 
where I had diplomatically arranged to be alone 
— the birds were still singing as if their hearts 
would break with inexplicable joy. The old 
Greek notion of sorrow in the melody of the 
nightingale is yery pretty and poetical, but it 
will not do. Aedon does not mourn for Itylus, 



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6 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

but is very content in her new condition. The 
day being too short to give full voice to her 
delight, the night also receives a gift of inimit- 
able song. 

Fair and flourishing is the aspect of France in 
the gracious vesture of spring. Here and there 
on the railway embankments beyond Bordeaux, 
I noticed the fleur-de-lys flaunting its purple 
splendour, and the apple trees and hawthorns 
were very brilliant in the sunlit dew of dawn. 

At Biarritz a bewigged Russian princess 
alighted with her two poodles, and took away 
all the sunshine in her golden hair. It was 
therefore cloudy when we crossed the Spanish 
frontier. Here I caught my breath as Spain 
held out her arms to me again. Lofty Spain, 
the land of splendid contrasts and extremes ; the 
wildest, the most primeval country in Europe ; 
" the land of anomaly and paradox " — la tkrra de 
vicS versd. At that moment I experienced a sort 
of spiritual exaltation that sometimes takes pos- 
session of me when, in ascending a hill, I observe 
the blue of the empyrean touching the green of 
the summit. 

I had plenty of time to indulge in sentiment, 
for here a stoppage occurred. The economical 
engine-driver had made a miscalculation in re- 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 7 

gard to his supply of steam. So there we were 
under the bridge between Irun and Hendaya, 
the coal exhausted, the vapeur evaporated, and 
all the world looking on and laughing. A couple 
of hours later, in the company of three stout 
ladies of the Spanish bourgeoisie and a great 
northern grandee, with his English wife and 
English-speaking son, I entered the hotel omni- 
bus at San Sebastian. 

Thinking that we were all cxtranjeros, the three 
ponderous females began to vituperate in their 
shrillest and nastiest manner. They resented 
our presence in the vehicle, — that was quite 
evident. They dubbed me an insolent pig for 
having put my dressing-bag on the seat beside 
me ; they referred to the grandee as an unman- 
nerly dog because he had brought his hold-all 
into the omnibus, and they called his wife a 
brazen piece of impudence for keeping them 
waiting whilst she superintended the collection 
of her mountain of luggage. All these observa- 
tions were vouchsafed with hardly a glance in 
our direction. Our appearance was criticised, 
down to the brown boots, and when the eldest 
and fattest hazarded the remark that most likely 
we were people escaping from our creditors — to 
which assumption my fellow-travellers' half-ton 



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8 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

of luggage lent some colour — I nearly choked 
with suppressed laughter. 

The day was showery in Guipuzcoa and the 
highway was full of mud. The two poor, bony 
horses found the load a most difficult one to 
move, and finally, after frantic efforts to get over 
the bridge, they gave up the business in despair. 
Hereupon the c&cheto and the portero became 
wildly excited, and we were aH in imminent 
danger of being precipitated into the Urumea. 
But the three corpulent unoritas never turned a 
hair ; they manifested not desire to descend. 

"Away with those horses to the Plaza de 
Toros," they cried; "or offer theirr to this Eng- 
lish Quixote," one of them added under her 
breath, indicating my humble self, "and let him 
choose a Rosinante wherewith to perambulate 
Spain." This was too much for me, and too 
much for the " senor viefo" and we immediately 
and with one accord remarked in Castellano that 
the knightly admirers of such beautiful Dulcineas* 
as those which we had had the good fortune to 
encounter thus early on our travels, were cer- 
tainly worthy of better steeds than those attached 
to the omnibus. After which nothing more was 
said by the confused and discomfited donceUas. 

Dinner at the Hotel de Londres was a very 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 9 

tame affair. Opposite me there was an English 
couple of the type beloved of the French comic 
papers. These folk were evidently people of 
importance at home, where they had been care- 
ful to leave their manners with their respectable 
raiment. The way in which that woman shouted 
" du pain 1 * filled me with horror and disgust. She 
had great protruding teeth, so white that one 
would have been thankful if she had not polished 
them quite so brilliantly. They were much too 
obtrusive. He was in holy orders. He rested 
his elbows upon the table and surveyed the com- 
pany with sacred nonchalance. His mutton-chop 
whiskers were red as carrots, and he had a fishy 
eye. One certainly meets the most fearful and 
wonderful compatriots ! A pessimistic Scotch 
spinster sat next to me, whose lady companion 
had the loveliest white hair I have ever seen and 
the sweetest voice I have ever heard, with the 
exception of the renowned Sarah's. With this 
couple I conversed whilst a Frenchwoman, who 
ate like a wolf, laughed every now and again as 
if she understood what I said. She then trans- 
lated the supposed jokes to her daughter. Un- 
fortunately, however, she always laughed at the 
wrong time, and her translations were enough to 
put Mark Twain for ever in the shade. 



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IO IDVLLS OF SPAIN 

My clerical vis-a-vis was probably acting up 
to the maxim of "doing in Rome as Rome 
does," for after making all possible allowances, 
one must admit that table d'hdte in Spain is a 
trying function. The middle-class Spaniard has 
but the very vaguest ideas in regard to delicate 
behaviour at dinner. The ordinary individual of 
this grade uses his4mife to peas, smokes between 
the courses, and sprawls /over the table ; whilst 
the more barbarous specimens think nothing of 
spitting on the floor during the progress of the 
meal. To see the faces of English ladies when 
they first experience these enormities would be a 
diverting spectacle were the cause of their horror 
less disgusting. It is, however, extremely dim- 
cult to curb one's temper after observing their 
looks of surprise and pain. But the French, with 
all their supposed refinement, run the Iberians 
very close, as many people who have travelled 
in France will admit. 

At dinner it is also amusing to see the way in 
which a commonplace is received by the average 
travelling Briton. You say it is a fine day, and 
he freezingly agrees with you, turning very red, 
upsetting the salt, and mentally voting you an 
adventurer with designs upon his purse. Such 
a man sniffs at the vino &e mesa, and pulls a very 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN II 

wry face. Upon consulting the list, however, 
the prices convince him of the wisdom of giving 
the table wine a trial. He boldly takes the 
decanter and washes down course after course 
with strong liquor, tasting of the goat-skins in 
which it is transported from place to place. Very 
soon his flushed face attests that he has had 
more than is really good for him. It is then 
that he begins to consider his neighbour a very 
sensible fellow, and if he gets a little encourage- 
ment he will perhaps speak of his grandfather. 

They have a biscuit in the north of Spain 
called "£/ Ruisehor^ or "The Nightingale." 
I once saw an old lady eat so many of these at 
dessert, that she had to be assisted out of the 
room ; but it is only fair to add that she dipped 
each biscuit in the strong table wine. Yet, for- 
tified as this vino undoubtedly is, the natives 
drink it with impunity, intemperance being a 
rare vice in the Peninsula — at least so far as 
liquor is concerned. 



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II 

IN THE PROVINCE OF GUIPUZCOA 
SAN SEBASTIAN 

The situation of San Sebastian is so favoured 
by nature, that the town takes rank as one of 
the most beautiful in the world. In these fresh 
and sweet latter days of April, the province of 
Guipuzcoa wears a most enchanting aspect. On 
the surrounding hills the hawthorn is aflower in 
the lanes, and very sweet are the upland by-ways, 
flanked by cider orchards, in which the perfumed 
apple trees are glorious in white and crimson. 

Wandering upon these heights, one sometimes 
chances upon a small company of white-haired 
Basques sitting on some mound beneath the 
spreading lilacs, solemn as Areopagists. These 
old peasants seem to appreciate the loveliness of 
spring. And he would indeed be insensible to 
beauty who remained unmoved by the sights 
and sounds of the delicious primavtra, so like the 
English blossom-time, with the thrushes singing 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 3 

lustily in the coverts, and the dew-spangleid 

daisies winking in the grass. But the red-roofed 

houses tell one that this is not England, and a 

not altogether unpleasant nostalgia obtrudes upon 

the senses — a longing for the land of which our 

most impassioned singer has sung that — 

" . . . No southern shore may match the sons that kiss 
her mouth," 

the sweet dear north 

" Where the fire of hearts outburns the suns that fire the 
south." 

When darkness comes on, and one gets tired 
of the well-lit cafe, whose gilding and glare 
seem to overwhelm the stranger more than the 
shadows of the deserted promenade, it is de- 
lightful to stroll along the Playa as far as the 
gardens surrounding the villas on the seaward 
slopes. It was so horribly lonely sitting in the 
cafe with the Figaro and the glass of grenadine ; 
watching the faces of individuals who could 
never by any possibility be interesting. Now 
the wide blue vault. of night, afire with stars, 
gains a yet more lovely significance as the 
nightingale's revolving ecstacy thrills through 
and through the heart. A pair of lovers in 
noiseless, hempen-soled alpargatas pass through 
the lights and shadows on the asphalt ; a waters 



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14 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

man with his lamp goes by ; then all is hushed, 
save for the voice of the sea, until the ruisehor 
offers thanksgiving again. Towering black 
against the sky, the Castillo de la Mota, crown- 
ing Monte Orgullo, frowns down upon the bay, 
which takes a golden half-circle of light into its 
breaking waves. 

The bright-faced, happy people are nearly all 
abed. Thus alone with one's thoughts, one 
feels the necessity of some creature to whom 
one might speak. It is so beautiful, and yet so 
melancholy, this solitude of a strange city. If 
only the sereno would come up to one and chat, 
how the tension would be relieved ! Our friends 
are hundreds of leagues away, though the friend 
of friends may be present in the spirit, and there- 
fore the necessity for converse with some human 
soul fills the heart with strange disquietude. 

In the morning it is the correct thing to visit 
the fortress. The most pleasant way lies through 
the little copse on the promenade, and so on past 
the Casino and the quay. Climbing some steps 
one finds oneself on the first turrets of the castle. 
From this point there is a charming view. To 
the left one sees in the distance the blue moun- 
tains of Navarra and Guipuzcoa. Nearer, and 
to the right, are the hills about An^oain and 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 5 

Hernani, with their red-roofed farmhouses and 
cultivated slopes. This pleasant countryside is 
a source of perennial delight to the stranger. 
Vidlor Hugo has immortalized it, and our pro- 
mising young painter, Frank Brangwyn, has 
limned the beauty of the bay of Pasajes in his 
most delightful manner. 

The uplands about Renteria display their 
crops, vivid green in the sunlight ; and, still 
nearer, are the villa-studded hills that border 
the town, on which eucalypti, poplars, elms, and 
beeches — all in their fairest vernal vesture — are 
tossing in the wind. The smokeless town, bright 
with tiles, paint, and stucco, and laced through- 
out with foliage, presents an exquisite contrast 
to the wonderful blue of the almost land-locked 
bay. 

The tide is flowing before a strong north wind, 
and great white waves lash the walls of the pro- 
menade. Below us is the life and movement of 
the harbour, where merry fishermen and labourers 
in blue blouses are handling loads of silvery sar- 
dines. Gossiping women stand looking on. Here 
and there along the white boulevards flit dark- 
robed females on their way from mass, and little 
soldiers in red and blue stroll languidly along. 
All this is seen through the unquiet boughs, 



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1 6 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

which gleam golden-green in the sun. For this 
hill is well wooded, and not least fair of its many 
trees is a Cercis, whose countless pea-shaped, 
carmine blossoms spring out from the trunk and 
branches, striking an unusual note of colour. 

Behind there are ruinous walls almost covered 
with a pretty cascade of starry periwinkle, and 
farther on, in places scarred and torn by shot 
and shell, where brave Englishmen gave up their 
last breath in an alien land, fighting side by side 
with comrades speaking an alien tongue, nature 
has planted white flowers of peace. Here one 
realizes the truth of the old aphorism, Dulce ct 
decorum est pro patrid mori. 



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Ill 

IN THE PROVINCE OF GUIPUZCOA 
FROM BEASAIN TO CEGAMA 

One day I became disgusted with the Biarritz 

"Hig-Liff" who run down to San Sebastian. 

These worthy people snatch a hasty lunch,; 

peep at the Bay of Pasajes, then rush back again, 

breathless with affected terror at having braved 

the dangers of Spanish inns. 

Months might be spent in this pleasant green 

country without discomfort, and without exhaust- 
ing its interest. I wish I could have taken with 
me one or two of those stupid Englishmen who 
libel Spain, when we set off in a cool wind, one 
sunny morning, to catch the train for Beasain. 
It happened to be the 25th of April, which is 
the day of St. Mark ; and it is a custom of the 
Spanish Basques to make special bread in honour 
of that Saint. An unshelled egg is placed on the 
top of the dough, and fastened thereto by a small 
band of paste. The cake is then baked. In the 



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1 8 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

carriage there was a man with a great package of 
these buns, who at once offered them to us, and 
told us how the custom of making this bread had 
its origin in remotest antiquity ; he also gave us a 
learned discourse upon the curiously shaped cakes 
which are made at Hernani in September. It 
appears that by these the worship of Baal and 
Astarte is still to some extent perpetuated ; for, 
as the generous fellow pointed out, the Romish 
Fathers, when "proselytising" the country, were 
careful to seledl the traditional feasts and cele- 
brations of the Basque people as the occasions 
on which the Church should also observe its 
holy days with appropriate rejoicing. 

Alighting at Beasain, we stepped into a posada 
almost the exadt counterpart of a clean English 
inn. The landlady was a Mistress Quickly in 
the flesh. When Don Miguel made his appear- 
ance the worthy hostess flew to him, babbling 
the Spanish equivalent of " He hath eaten me 
out of my home ; that glutton there," pointing 
to a guest calmly munching in a corner. The 
good soul was much exercised about a certain 
score, and her debtor was going away, God 
knows where. This individual lacked Falstaff's 
rotundity of person, but not the Falstaffian 
tongue. He rose from his seat, called the 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 9 

woman pretty names, smoothed her iron-grey 
hair, and chucked her under the chin. The 
issue of their altercation I know not, for I 
became absorbed in the inevitable pictures 
which graced the walls: "The Chase of the 
Fox," "Les cailks et leurs petites," " Les 
Vanneaux" and so forth. Then an elderly 
pedlar who sat in the common room, worrying 
a leg of lamb and drinking the good red wine, 
became interesting to me by reason of his superb 
nonchalance. His was a sort of Red Indian 
phlegm. Had a petard exploded in the apart- 
ment it is doubtful whether he would have lost 
command over his imperturbability. Blue-clad 
peasants, lean, brown, and wrinkled, lounged 
about the door. There was a hum of voices 
from the inner room, whence a pretty muchacha 
emerged to serve us with the wherewithal to 
quench our thirst. And then we set out for 
Segura. 

As I sat in the covered victoria during that 
charming drive, behind a pair of young frolic- 
some horses, that were evidently delighted with 
the jingling bells of their accoutrements, it was 
pleasant to listen to the conversation of my 
Basque companions. The sides of the vehicle 

were open to the air. The American-cloth cover 

c — 2 



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20 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

being looped up on either side, I had the most 
delightful glimpses of the scenery. 

Every familiar landmark seemed to rouse some 
associations in the minds of my friends. They 
showed themselves to be the most ardent pro- 
tectionists, and more than staunch republicans. 
With Don Carlos they had no sort of sympathy, 
though they hailed from a town in which his 
adherents are 

" Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks 
In Vallombrosa. . . ." 

From politics their busy chatter turned to 
gan>e, and we discussed partridge and jabali, 
which is the Spanish equivalent of wild boar. 
They bad obtained a special permit from the 
governor of the province, and were making up 
a party to go to the Navarrese forests — una gran 
batida — would I go? Alas, the exigencies of 
business prevented my acceptance, but when I 
heard certain thrilling descriptions of fierce 
encounters with bristly tuskers in the wild oak 
woods behind Tolosa — the selfsame woods which 
awed the susceptible spirit of Viclor Hugo — I 
more than regretted the necessity of being com- 
pelled to decline. 

In these woods of oak and chestnut, the jabali 
sometimes attains a great size. His usual weight 



j 
J 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 21 

is about fourteen stone, but boars of the true 
grey-brindled type, "de los Castellanos" — those 
patriarchal beasts that are protected from the 
cold by a reddish woolly fur beneath the outer 
bristle— often scale more than 300 lbs. Jabali of 
the sierras always weigh more than those of the 
plain; some mountain boars are said to reach 
400 lbs. 

An idyll of the chase is what I should have 
dearly loved to write ; but this I must leave to 
the future. Meanwhile I recommend my readers 
to study Chapman and Buck's "Wild Spain," 
one of the most delightful sporting books ever 
published. 

We passed through valley after valley, where 
broad-chested peasants toiled, such as Francois 
Millet would have delighted to paint. These 
men slowly trudged behind their teams of oxen, 
their eyes intent upon the upturned clods. They 
seemed part and parcel of the very land, with no 
ideas beyond the immediate moment — no hopes, 
no ambition, and with, perhaps, but a brutish 
love. Here and there man and wife were digging 
the earth side by side, keeping time with every 
spadeful. Their blue smocks and scarlet head- 
dresses contrasted pleasantly with the hawthorn 
of the hedges, whose dazzlingly white efflor- 



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22 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

escence seemed greedy of the sun. All along 
the waysides shone golden bushes of broom, and 
the beautiful, fragile flowers of the flax fields 
bent before the fresh breeze. 

Don Miguel, who is as romantic as he is polite, 
stopped the carriage and plucked me a handful 
of these blue blossoms, observing that they are 
almost like an English eye. And truly, their 
colour, as Longfellow evidently observed, is 
more like that of the human eye than any other 
floral hue, unless it be that of the speedwells, 
of which also there was no lack that bright 
morning. 

At length we arrived at the feudal village of 
Segura, and after a glance at the old walls, and 
a brief examination of the lofty houses with their 
stone escutcheons, we proceeded on our way to 
Cegama through a multitude of yelping dogs. 
The peaks of the Sierra de San Adrian — the 
watershed of the Bay of Biscay and the Medi- 
terranean — had risen into view at different points 
of the road, but now the deep indigo-blue mass 
of Monte Aitzgorri stood up before us, forming 
a great wall of rocks, snow-streaked ravines, and 
brushwood. 

Cegama was eventually reached "without 
incident," as the Spaniards say when nothing 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 23 

particular happens to them on a journey. Ce- 
gama is a little village, at that time smothered 
in apple blossom. The mayor came out to greet 
us, and to act as cicerone. He was a wheezy, short, 
portly, red-faced old gentleman, whose profession 
was evidently that of a carpenter. Although 
we had arrived when he was discharging his 
customary duties, and when his raiment was not 
as immaculate as it might have been, the natural 
dignity of this old son of the mountains did not 
desert him. Doubtless wishing that the road be- 
twixt Cegama and Segura was a little straighter, 
so that he might have notice of such intrusions, 
the worthy alcalde tilted his blue cap, mopped 
his forehead, and determined to make the best of 
it. In the midst of all his confusion he did not 
forget that he was a Spaniard; his courtesy 
leaving nothing to be desired. 

At the Casa Consistorial we found an annexe 
in the shape of an alberga, with the usual stables 
on the ground floor occupied by munching mules, 
and hens busy among the litter of bracken, 

To mount the rickety stairs, and prowl into a 
kitchen bright with shining copper vessels, was 
quite exciting. It was a dread moment when 
we three hungry travellers hovered amidst many 
uncertainties. We were soon reassured, how- 



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24 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

ever. The floors of the house were so clean 
that without hesitation we might have eaten our 
lunch therefrom. Spotless, too, were the bed- 
rooms, into which we also prowled; and then 
came a frightened maid to ask what our Worships 
wanted, telling us that she was our servant and 
that she had sixteen years. 

"Can you prepare an almuerzoV we asked. 
" We will try," she answered, her timorous eyes 
flashing, and the blood rippling under her dusky 
skin. " But my mother's house has not often 
had the honour of receiving such company, and 
I am afraid, — but will Your Worships excuse the 
poorness of the meal which we will endeavour 
to prepare ? " 

And Our Worships — who did not expe<5l to find 
an Amphitryon menu — said they would excuse 
everything, and they strolled out into the pleasant 
sunlight, up the gleaming roadway, into the narrow 
path leading to the mountain. Whilst my friends 
examined a watercourse, I hunted about for ferns 
and flowers ; chancing upon the familiar Tricho* 
manes, the Ceterach, and the Asplenium adiantum- 
nigrum. Clear musical water babbled in the most 
delightful little runnel, on whose banks I found a 
lilac-hued ranunculus, some lovely orchises, and 
a few large masses of blue bugle, whose unusual 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 2 5 

beauty positively amazed me. A troop of girls 
passed me on their way to dinner, with whom 
the ploughmen on the hillside exchanged noisy 
greetings. They were the operatives of Ce- 
gama's one and only factory. 

Part of Don Miguel's business at this place 
was to visit the chicory mills, where there is no 
chicory, as he laughingly reminded me. There, 
in that remote mountain solitude, sallow-faced 
maidens were making up packages of so-called 
cafe, destined for the markets of Seville and 
Malaga. I think I dare almost venture to say 
that neither chicory nor coffee entered into the 
the composition of the fearful and wonderful 
mixture on which they were engaged. The 
crude brown masses of raw material Uttering 
the floors may have been wood-bark, carrots, 
or almost anything. 

Our Worships were great people in the eyes 
of the Mayor, but our importance was definitely 
increased when we asked him to join us at 
lunch. Tired of the chicory mill, with its noisy 
water-wheel, we strolled back to the inn, along 
the white highroad, across which slender lizards 
darted like living shadows. 

Soon we were in the presence of the frightened 
landlady and her still more agitated daughter ; but 



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26 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

all was now ready for the Alcalde, for Don Miguel, 
Don Luis, and Don Rolando. The water for 
ablutions was in the tiniest of tiny basins, but 
that was the only thing which was not served 
in true Spanish abundance. 

When the fragile, pale-faced hostess had closed 
the door upon the soup, Don Miguel quoted a 
fine old crusted French proverb about the quality 
of such dishes: "Quand It diable est dans la 
tnartnite, le bouillon nest pas bon" The soup 
was indeed poor, and the olla of boiled pork and 
chickpeas — the classic puchero — was infinitely 
trying. But who could describe the exquisite 
flavour of the incomparable dish of mountain 
mushrooms and new-laid eggs? This should 
have been served as an omelette, but came to 
table as a sort of jumbled up fricassee, the poor 
trembling creatures having broken the confec- 
tion in taking it out of the pan. That dish was 
a dream, however, and the good souls were re- 
assured when they saw how magically it disap- 
peared. Then came some excellent chorizos, or 
sausages, flavoured with red capsicum, or, as 
the Spaniards say, Pimienta de Guinea. The 
flagon of good wine was not less memorable, 
and instead of lunching like peasants we feasted 
like princes. It was, as Don Luis observed, a 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 2J 

banquet of Lucullus, or Anacreon, the good 
hostess forgetting nothing, not even biscuits 
and " Old Brandy." Much chaff was exchanged 
in regard to the coffee, Don Miguel entreating 
Her Worship not to give us anything from La 
Fdbrica, and his supplication was so favourably 
received, that we had the pleasure of drinking 
an aromatic fluid that might have pleased the 
Sultan of Turkey himself. 

"Ah," said the alcalde, who had expanded 
generously, "there are more boys born in the 
village than girls, as food is scarce sometimes. 
With such ample fare as this there would cer- 
tainly be more girls than boys ; " on which remark 
we pondered deeply. At the conclusion of our 
meal the old fellow would have us visit the 
church, where he wanted to show me a fine 
monument erected to the memory of the patriot 
Zumalcarregui, the great Carlist, and one of 
Cegama's and the world's heroes. 

In a delightfully comfortable sacristy, high 
up in the tower, the church possesses quaint 
records of births, marriages, and deaths. My 
two friends displayed much sentiment in a 
search for the record of their grandmother's 
marriage. Moved by the sight of honourable 
names, Don Luis became inclined to spread 



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*8 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

himself out a little, when Don Miguel promptly 
checked him. 

" Dry up, young man," he said. " Only im- 
beciles want credit for the achievements of their 
ancestors." 

On leaving the chilly edifice we were crossed 
with holy water by the benevolent alcalde, and 
then all four proceeded to the ancestral halls of 
Don Miguel and Don Luis, outside which we 
stood at gaze, whilst the outraged heirs of faded 
splendour vented maledictions on the lazy 
tenants who had allowed the fine casas to 
get out of repair. 

And then came a visit to the notary. Quickly 
as news flies in out-of-the-way places, the an- 
nouncement of our arrival, nevertheless, had 
failed to reach the ears of the worthy lawyer 
when we presented ourselves at the door of his 
mansion; a fa<5t, I believe, chiefly to be attri- 
buted to his wife's deafness. Our visit must 
have been something of a nuisance, for a man 
never feels at his best when he is clad in greasy 
and archaic garments, and displaying a chin 
graced by a three days' growth of bristle. La 
Senora, too, was anything but prepared for the 
entertainment of visitors; but she, like the 
Mayor, retained her composure, and made the 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 29 

best of it. Her daughter, Dona Petra, however, 
managed to make her toilette before appearing in 
our presence. The friendly circle had assembled 
in the little living room. The polished floor and 
oaken panels gave quite a Rembrandtesque tint 
to the apartment. There was also a quiet, dreamy, 
old-world air about the house. The notary's wife 
took refuge in her knitting, as an Englishwoman 
would have done under similar circumstances. 
Petra produced a frosted cake, the equal of any 
Parisian gateau, and evidently considered a 
triumph of confectionery. This was set before 
us, with a flask of Cuban rum, and we received 
a pressing invitation to begin. But the abun- 
dance of the alberga had beep too much for us 
already, and we said so, 

" Cegama has but little to offer Your Worships," 
said Petra, " but perhaps you wpuld like a little 
sulphur water ? " 

But Our Worships managed to avoid the neces- 
sity for partaking of the medicinal draught by 
keeping the more alluring liquor at a distance. 

The notary had a keen ambitious fac$, despite 
the unfortunate beard. He asked us whether we 
would like to see his genealogical tree, painted 
by a son residing in Madrid. Having signified 
our wUlinjjness, we were conducted upstairs to a 



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30 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

room rejoicing in an exceptionally brilliant wall- 
paper. Here the precious record reposed on a 
fine chest of carved oak. The old Carlist notary 
fairly glowed with satisfaction when I exclaimed 
" Ignacio Loyola ! " At this saint, the pre- 
sumptive founder of the family, the pedigree 
stopped. At any rate the painter had not con- 
sidered it advisable to go any farther back in his 
researches. 

The notary was very naive ; he asked for our 
autographs, so I enquired whether he was a col- 
lector of such trifles. 

"Yes, sir," he replied, "I am, and among 
others I have a most precious collection of anony- 
mous ones." 

Beaming with delight, despite his deshabille, 
he then produced a rare manuscript of the time 
of Ferdinand and Isabella, exquisitely written, 
and with beautifully painted initial letters. 

" Senores," he cried, with much enthusiasm, 
" look at this ; isn't it a beauty ? I'm always 
collecting such things. I have just purchased 
by letter the manuscript of the Iliad, written by 
Homer himself — his own handwriting." 

" Indeed," said Luis. 

" Yes," cried the notary, "but the pity of it is 
the work is not written in Greek." 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 3 1 

Hearing this, Miguel came to the rescue, for 
Luis and I were ready to burst. 
, " I say," enquired Miguel, " what document 
would Your Worship most like to have in your 
collection?" 

The notary was quite ready. His wishes in 
that direction had already taken definite form. 

" Hombre /" he answered, "why the telegram 
from Christopher Columbus announcing the dis- 
covery of the New World ! " 

More Gothic manuscripts were shown, and 
then the good old lady would have us examine 
lier garden, which was just beginning to give a 
good account of itself. There, under the eyes of 
Mamma, Petra amused herself by a vague, but 
nevertheless desperate, attempt to capture the 
affections of Don Luis. Her eager face showed 
plainly that she was determined to make the 
most of those few minutes. Whilst the Senora 
exhibited the green peaches, Petra was giving 
Luis a rose and a yellow wallflower. 

" Here, in this lonely place," said Mamma, 
apologetically, with the faintest glance in the 
direction of her daughter, " there is no move- 
ment, no life, no nothing. We are near the 
church, of course, and that is a comfort. We 
have a nice garden, and that is a blessing. My 



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32 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

husband and I are as solitary as a pair of old 
lammergeyers, with the white feathers of a 
hundred winters on their heads; but we are 
quite happy in a certain way. There is one 
thing to be regretted, however, and that is" — 
here she paused and sighed, glancing in the 
direction of her daughter — " my husband has so 
few opportunities of collecting documents." I 
thought she was about to speak her thought, 
but it passed through her heart unspoken. 

"Are there no other young people in the 
village, Senora ? " I asked. 

" For Petra ?" she queried. " No, not one." 
She again looked at her daughter, who was 
showing Luis her pretty teeth. " Luis and she 
used to know each other very well once," con- 
tinued Mamma, with a little tremor in her 
voice, " but Tolosa is a long way from here, is 
it not?" 

Poor Petra. The heart of a young girl, accus- 
tomed to suck respectable poverty, is a seed 
which begins to swell as soop as a thought of 
love falls upon it. 

I came away thinking of the. French and Eng- 
lish engineers who had lived in Cegama during 
the erection of the Northern Railway. Whilst 
there was wprk in the mountains there was life 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 33 

in the hamlet. Was Petra then able to assess 
the value of love? Did she flirt with the 
strangers within the gates? Perhaps she may 
have turned her face to the wall and wept after 
the departure of some fair-haired fellow, who 
went southward across the barrier hills. I had 
evolved a sort of nebulous romance when I 
reached Beasain, the title being 

" Petra y las rosas de Cegama." 



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IV 

AN EVENING AT ZUMARRAGA 

Before reaching Zum&rraga the traveller is 
often moved by the loveliness of the highland 
scenery, and sometimes thrilled by the know- 
ledge that the train is on the giddy height 
of a viaduct crossing a deep valley. One seems 
to be poised in the air. Far down below are 
deep glens, with their emerald velvet sward 
and bosky slopes. From the cultivated hollows, 
where the dark brown earth is freshly turned, 
the peasants lift up their faces and smile at the 
viajeros. The constant sun sheds happiness over 
meadow and mountain, and on the little healthy 
children playing in the fields. It is very beauti- 
ful this tumbled riot of hills wherein the kindly 
Basque has made his home. One learns to love 
the intelligent race even within the brief period 
occupied by a journey from Irun to Bilbao or 
Miranda. 
On one of the monies near Tolosa the Romans 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 35 

suffered a crushing defeat at the time they were 
endeavouring to subjugate the Cantabrians. 
Tradition tells us that the invaders were so 
impressed by the sublime heroism of those who 
opposed their advance, that they invited a parley, 
during which it was proposed that a given num- 
ber of Basques should proceed to Rome, there 
to show their prowess before the emperor ; and 
in case of their proving victorious against the 
opponents to be pitted against them, their rugged 
region should thereafter be left in peace. That the 
champions went to Italy and returned invincible 
is still a proud boast of these dalesmen; and 
here, in the midst of wild and pastoral beauty, 
they still remain, dauntless and unconquered, 
an indigenous and unadulterated people. Their 
liberties have been much curtailed, however, 
and there is a seething discontent in the bosom 
of these Iberians which may any day cause an 
explosion. 

I shall never forget an evening at Zumarraga 
spent in the company of a Basque patriot, who 
was a man of culture and of noble birth. Forced 
by poverty to earn his living, he was serving as 
an engineer in South America. He told me he 
had written several novels, which had been pub- 
lished in Bilbao. He spoke of many strange 

d— 2 



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36 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

things concerning his country, not the least of 
which is the curious similarity of the Euskara 
language and the speech of South American 
Indians. For instance, the word Suria in the 
Indian dialects signifies " the sun," whilst in the 
Basque it has the same meaning. The Indians 
use the word Ilargia, which is almost equivalent 
to the Basque Ilia, " the dead light "— *'.*., the 
moon. The Euskaldanac evidently have a very 
ancient language. Perochegui says that Adam 
spoke Basque, and that the idiom was brought 
to Spain long before the confusion of tongues at 
Babel. However this may be, one cannot but 
feel some surprise when confronted with the 
singular fact that at Eibar, during the ceremony 
which is performed on the occasion of the feast 
of the Resurrection, the Basques ery sua, sua — 
that is, "fire, fire" — and that the Indians of 
El Chaco use the same word, and employ the 
same gesticulations, whilst celebrating certain of 
their religious rites. One is insensibly led to the 
conclusion that Atlantis must indeed have been a 
geographical fact, and that the elephants' trunks 
carved on the columns of the ruined temples of 
Yucatan have a signification which is immea- 
surably deep. 
To hear my Basque friend speak of the North 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 37 

Americans was almost equally delightful. He 
had been to Chicago, and had returned with but 
a poor opinion of Brother Jonathan, the shape of 
whose nose, he said, was slowly changing, the 
lower jaw acquiring an almost bestial promi- 
nence, owing to the national habit of chewing 
gum and tobacco. 

This interesting conversation occurred during 
dinner at Zumanraga's one and only hotel. 
Amidst his learned discourse my friend found 
time to say kind words to a pair of hopeful 
honeymooners who sat at the same table. The 
pretty bride had an Arab grace of movement 
delightful to behold. Her litheness and buoyancy 
were the very reverse of the gait and carriage of 
some of our English jointed dolls. 

" Allow me to hand you this duke, 19 said the 
engineer, passing a conserve of honey and apples 
to the newly-married pair, "and permit me to 
express the hope that your mutual love may be 
equally sweet. Always remember this, that the 
heart is a treasury. If you empty it all at once 
you will find yourselves ruined." 

The bridegroom drank our healths in good 
Rioja, and, when he had toasted the young couple 
in return, my new friend proposed that we should 
go out and sit among the working people. 



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38 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

" Come and see the real thing," he said. 

So we sallied forth into the fragrant stillness 
of the night— a peace broken only by the 
loud call of the bell-frog — a strange, plaintive, 
metallic sound, half chirp, half wail, as if some 
laborious spirit was beating an immaterial anvil. 
There was a sense of mystery in this unfamiliar 
voice, a suggestion of unspeakable pathos ; the 
passion of irrevocable fate fitting in with the 
vague beauty of the shadowy hills, over which 
rode the sad crescent of the last quarter of the 
moon, ruddy and sinister, amidst the silvery 
splendour of innumerable stars. 

Inside the taberna, men in blue blouses were 
drinking wine and playing cards. Handsome 
men they were, every one of them. They were 
enjoying a game of Mus, and their faces were 
full of the varying expressions of the card- 
player. Wearing no braces, and using only 
light, easy-fitting garments, the Basque youth 
acquire a singular nobility of carriage, which 
accords well with the bronzed regularity of their 
features. They are broad-chested, massive- 
limbed, and lithe as panthers. The contrast 
between the Bilbao miner and his English 
counterpart is anything but favourable to my 
compatriots. Jerkin and breeches of blue cotton 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 39 

jean, scrupulously changed once or twice a 
week, lend to the man a cheerful and artistic 
air of, at least, superficial cleanliness. This 
places the Basque hewer of iron ore far in 
advance of the British miner in the path of 
refinement. But in Zumdrraga there are no 
miners, and those labouring men who were 
present in the little hostelry represented the 
industrial element of the village. But even the 
small number there assembled was rendered 
notable by the presence of a local poet or im- 
provisator, who, despite the soldier of the 
Civil Guard who was also in the room, let 
loose long tirades against the powers that be, 
and against the injustice of that monarchy 
which has interfered with the Basque fueros—* 
the traditional privileges of Las Provincias 
Vascongadas, granted by ancient charters and 
ignored by Madrid. He then sang a song, 
which ran something after this style — 

It was the Feast of Pentecost 
Beside the inland sea ; 
The bells were ringing " come to pray," 
He said, " We must not waste the day. 
Dear love, O, let us to the wood, 
For young and fervent is our blood ; 
Or let us seek the river side, 
To paddle in its flowing tide. 



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40 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

The sun shines warm and laughs the sea, 
And I have thee, love ; thou hast me. 
The bells are ringing " come to pray," 
But, love, we will not waste the day, 
We will not waste the day." 

This was th$ introduction to more musical 
efforts. First there was the never-to-be-forgotten 
ballad of Don Rodrigo de Bivar, sung by a 
beardless youth; and then, under the kindly 
influence of some exquisitely-flavoured moscorra, 
or special cider, the whole company burst forth 
into immemorial song. The oclaved unison of 
their national melodies pierced the ear with its 
inimitable stirring and pathetic ebb and flow. 
I felt irresistibly drawn to them, my heart beat- 
ing as it were against theirs. Even the soldier, 
representing the government, surreptitiously 
joined in, the tears in his honest eyes, and the 
startled sereno (or watchman), pike in hand, 
peeped in at the doorway only to swell the 
number of patriots. The romantic figure of the 
Basque engineer-novelist, cup in hand, leading 
the fine songs, was a sight to see and remember. 
But above all I was most impressed by the bent 
frame and patriarchal hair of an old man, who 
passed through and through the ranks of the 
young singers as though a former century had 
suddenly become embodied, and was urging the 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN .4* 

rising generation to remember its sacred trust. 
Ever and anon he raised his right hand, his wan 
lips sometimes moving in sympathy with the 
music, and sometimes framing the words, " Que 
bueno es ! " By and by, when the excitement had 
subsided a little, the tears came into his eyes, 
and he went out of the door with drooping head 
and tottering steps. We followed him. 

Far away in the depths of the valleys lights 
were twinkling. The bell-frog was still ham- 
mering away at his airy metal. But the sound 
that rivetted our attention and held us spell- 
bound was not that made by the batraehian. 
A nightingale had taken possession of a tall 
tree on the mountain slope and was filling the 
air with his exquisite plaint. I thought of Keats 
at once, and went to bed with the music of the 
finest poem in the English language humming 
in my brain. 

" Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird ! 

No hungry generations tread thee down ; 
The voice I hear this passing night was heard 

In ancient days by emperor and clown ; 
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path 

Through the sad heart of Ruth, when side for home, 

She stood in tears amid the alien corn ; 
The same that oft-times hath 
Charmed magic casements, opening on the foam 
Of perilous seas, in fa6ry lands forlorn. 1 ' 



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ZUMJCRRAGA TO BILBAO 

The journey from Zumarraga to Bilbao is, in 
itself, well worth a visit to Spain. A narrow- 
guage line runs round the mountains, through 
long tunnels and over high bridges, in the most 
casual and careless way. But the succession of 
views which this railway unfolds is truly mag- 
nificent. Long before reaching Vergara one is 
almost paralysed by the proximity of the steep 
walls and the almost perpendicular green escarp- 
ments which lie beneath the ferro-carrti. The train 
rattles along, performing the outside and the inside 
edge on the verge of these declivities with the 
skill of a practised skater, and a certain amount 
of nerve is needed when gazing at the yawning 
valleys below. But it is through a pastoral 
paradise that we travel, an Eden whose billowy 
woodlands and emerald green meadows are glo- 
rious in spring with the familiar blue bugle, and 
with those pretty orchises, the " long purples " 



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IDVXLS OF SPAIN 43 

of Shakespeare. This chain of valleys contains 
some of the best blood and certainly some of 
the most intelligent people in Spain. Vergara, 
lying in a dale of delegable peace, her grey old 
mansions covered with armorial bearings, and 
adorned with curious corner windows, seems to be 
an ideal place for a poverty-stricken aristocracy. 
After passing the pathetic cypress-fringed 
cemetery, where the tired ones of Vergara are 
at rest, within earshot of the happy voices of 
the lark and the nightingale, we came upon 
quiet old Palencia. Crimson snapdragons were 
flaunting on the walls of the railway station, and 
there was a crowd of cake- vendors awaiting our 
arrival there. We now began our lunch in the 
restaurant attached to the train. Lining the 
river below us was a row of tall antique casas % 
one of the most pidluresque aggregations of 
buildings it has ever been our lot to see — their 
balconies all bright with many-coloured gar- 
ments hanging out to dry. Then Malzaga was 
passed, its grey-green mountain torrent strong 
with flood. Then lovely Eibar, brown-roofed, 
strange and quaint, the delight of artists. Here 
they make the so-called "Arabic" damascened 
jewellery, the ornamentation being gold inlaid 
on steel and iron. At this place we fain would 



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44 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

have tarried, but time would not permit. The 
breathless train hurried us along through beau- 
tiful Ermua, whose green reposeful simplicity 
pleased us mightily. By and by we paused at 
Olacueta-Beriz, where our eyes were greeted 
by the sight of a splendid mass of grey moun- 
tain peaks sharply denned against the golden 
flowers of the uplands. Then on and on we 
hurried, past the high pehas which rise near 
Durango, and thence through verdurous, undu- 
lating country to Bilbao. The vines were all in 
leaf, and the green wheat was waxing rapidly in 
the warmth and moisture of spring. The apple- 
blossom and the broom made the journey doubly 
pleasant by reason of the pleasant thoughts to 
which they gave rise. It was indeed a charming 
little trip, but, short as the journey seemed, I 
was not denied a touch of human interest. Not 
soon shall I forget the tragic features of a woman 
who took the seat opposite me at the station of 
Durango. 

" I have to go to Bilbao," she said, on entering 
the compartment, " the Good God has sent for 
me ; meanwhile I will eat a little bread." 

She began nibbling a crust, every now and 
then saying " Jesus ! " and " Dios mio I " At first 
I thought she was mad, but I afterwards noticed 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 45 

a crumpled telegram in her hand. I then knew 
that something had happened to her or to hers. 
Presently I mustered up courage to ask her what 
was the matter. Whereupon she handed me the 
slip of paper, which ran as follows : " Vente en* 
seguida urge" It was even as I had suspecled. 
Her husband had telegraphed to her from the 
hospital of the Somorosstro Mines, where he was 
employed. Her face, which was like that of my 
old nurse, wore an expression of acute suffering, 
and something in her great black eyes told me 
that weeping and mourning are not the highest 
forms of grief. Beautiful Bilbao was also my 
destination; that fine industrial town set in a 
hollow of the Viscayan hills. The pleasant 
activity of its boulevards and the bustle of the 
shipping on the Nervion are always delightful 
to me. Yet I could not dismiss this woman 
from my memory, even when my warm-hearted 
compatriots held out their welcoming hands. In 
the streets the blue costumes of the workmen 
constantly reminded me of her and her maimed 
husband. 

" I do not know what is the matter," she said 
on alighting, " but I hope he may yet be alive, 
We love one another so much, and he is still so 
young, and life will be nothing to me without hun,' ? 



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VI 

ARRIGORIAGA 

One day I left beautiful Bilbao with the inten- 
tion of indulging in a country stroll. 

It was the thirteenth of April, and the rain- 
washed air was deliciously fresh and sunny* 
Proceeding by the Norte Railway, I alighted at 
the station of Arrigoriaga. There I chose a path 
which runs alongside the line in the direction of 
Orduna. Around me was a gracious profusion 
of mountains; the more distant of a cinereous 
hue, soft evanescent mist rising and falling about 
their slopes. Those in the immediate foreground 
were green with waving woods, and touched here 
and there with warm sienna where the mounds 
of debris from the iron mines showed through 
the leafage. On these heaps of refuse bronzed 
and perspiring labourers rested on their spades. 
The hills in the middle distance were beautifully 
blue, their orchards and velvety pastures having 
an indistindl loveliness peculiar to the season. 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 47 

I sat down to take my fill of the drowsy quiet 
which possessed the air. A broad-winged hawk 
hung motionless above me, his dead-brown 
plumage half-refusing the sunlight. The spring 
had come to the earth, and the earth was very 
glad. The spring had come, and the wren in 
the thicket chirped her little lyric of love. The 
voice of the shy wren is far louder than one 
would suppose such a small body could possess. 
But she knows how to use it. There on a bush, 
her feathers all quivering, and her throat throb- 
bing, she cried " Bob o' link ! Bob o' link ! " By 
and by the woods were made lovelier by a louder 
and mellower voice. A cuckoo had begun his 
familiar British song. My heart leapt out of my 
bosom, and was over seas in an instant in the 
green glens and glades of England, where there 
was also a waving of many banners and the 
piping of innumerable minstrels. There, in far 
away Vizcaya, I could almost see the uncertain 
glory of our British skies, and sniff the sharp, 
penetrating, uncloying odours of the awakening 
woods; the "ineffable, lyrical incense" which 
stimulates the spirit in April. 

Spring is such a perfecl: time. The blood runs 
with a more delightful flow, the heart throbs 
with a warmer beat, the eyes see more clearly 



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48 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

when the buds burst out in the lengthening 
days. Even the oldest of us must feel the influ- 
ence of that happy season, and thrill with a new 
sense of power at each renascence of the earth's 
activity. 

Occupied with some such thoughts as these, 
I lay basking in the pleasant sunshine, when I, 
heard steps approaching, and looking up I saw 
a little five-year-old girl toddling along the path 
upon the railway bank. She stopped to look 
into my face. What power there was in her 
gaze. I thrijled under it ! She seemed to read 
my soul in an instant. She came over to my 
side, the embodiment of spring and purity, and 
of all Nature's matchless craftsmanship. Her 
hair was of the colour of the hazel-nut, and her 
eyes had the hue of a sunlit brook full of 
the dead leayes of autumn. She smiled, and it 
seemed to me that one of the loveliest creatures 
outside of Heaven had suddenly become my 
friend. The sun was strong and the light 
dazzled her, but it made her face all the 
rnore winspme, and her pearly teeth all the 
whiter. 

" Take them," she said, without further intro- 
duction, handing me a bunch of columbines of a 
colour deeper Jhan that of tl^p April sky, "Min$ 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN . 49 

tu las dnco palomas?" she continued, naively. I 
was to notice the five little doves at the back of 
each flower. 

" Dear child," I thought, "thou thyself art a 
columbine — una pequeha flor — and the five little 
graces that bedeck thee are beauty, innocence, 
truth, simplicity, and love." 

I held out my arms and asked for a kiss. She 
timidly approached and threw hers around my 
neck. 

"What is your name ? " I asked. 

" Margerita," she answered. 

She kissed me and then went her way, leaving 
me wondering at the new sweetness and poig- 
nancy which had suddenly crept into the scene. 
And what an exquisite silence that was which 
followed her departure ! All at once I seemed 
to understand the subtle meaning, the heavenly 
sound of those beautiful words which fell upon 
the apostles' ears in far-off Palestine — " Suffer 
little children to come unto me, and forbid them 
not, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven." 

The faint odour of the broom came to me on 
the breath of Spring ; the sun was flashing its 
burning rays upon the yellow gold of a bush 
close at hand. Thereon I perceived a spider 
throwing out her fairy ropes with aim exadt and 



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50 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

true. She had an Eden of a home among the 
fragrant yellow flowers, a home of love. Ah, yes ! 

" Flower o' the broom, 
Take away Love and our earth is a tomb." 

A young peasant swung past with lengthy 
strides, looking at me somewhat wistfully, as if 
he would have liked to add a few further words 
to his gruff " Good day." He was waiting for 
the train, and there was a rustic peace in the 
scene which to the uncontemplative might have 
been oppressive. I regretted afterwards that I 
did not make friends with him, for subsequent 
events proved that he regarded my silence 
as suspicious, and myself as a dangerous cha- 
racter. 

Everyone speaks to everyone else in Spain. 
You say " Good morning" or " Good evening," 
whenever you enter a train or other public 
vehicle, and " Adios" when you leave. But it 
is sometimes difficult for a foreigner to under- 
stand the peasantry, because of the local patois; 
hence my disinclination to enter into conversa- 
tion with this young man. 

By and by I saw an eagle (aguila pcrdictra) 
questing on the side of the opposite hill. He 
suddenly spied his prey and dropped like a 
plummet, his dark brown wings collapsed, l*is 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 5 1 

eyes on the game. I saw the gleam of his 
white breast, and heard the rushing sound of 
his descent, though I was quite four hundred 
yards away. 

Becoming tired of my sunlit couch, I rose and 
made my way through the long lush grass to the 
summit of the railway embankment, where I 
found the selfsame youth in pleasant converse 
with one of his fellows. They had a pipe, on 
which they discoursed sweet and plaintive music 
beneath a flowering hawthorn. Their faces were 
guileless — their gaze generous and trustful. 
Their attitude was one of perfect repose : the 
scene was idyllic, Theocritan, 

I strolled along, not venturing to interrupt 

the idyll by the utterance of a platitude, and 

occupied myself by gathering the birds' -foot 

trefoil and some precocious yarrow, whose long 

spindly stems I found here and there at my feet. 

I then sought out a little cluster of apple trees, 

and took a long, deep draught of their delicious 

perfume. I felt at peace with all the world, 

quite heedless of either Past or Future. The 

exquisite pleasure of the moment absorbed me ; 

I was a lotus eater, a sybarite revelling in the 

supreme beauty of Spring. It was a scene in 

my life to be made ever memorable by its lyrical 

e — 2 



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52 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

colouring, and the intensity of my spiritual feel- 
ings. 

When I reached the path again I heard a 
thud on the wet ground, as of a falling stone ; 
then another, and another. Someone was direct- 
ing artillery against me. Ere I had time to re- 
flect, a small flint had grazed my temple, and a 
larger one had fallen on my right foot. I looked 
round, but being unable to see my assailants I 
made my way through the railway cutting as 
quickly as possible. Emerging from the shadow 
of the rocks I came upon a tall priest, duly 
capped and cassocked, who was feeding his goats 
on the grass and herbs growing on the embank- 
ments. 

Quite breathless, I ventured a commonplace, 
endeavouring to appear composed. 

" Ah ! you English," said the padre, " you are 
always in such a hurry ; the train is not due for 
a good half-hour." 

I did not tell him of the outrage to which I 
had been subjected because I had sniffed at 
someone's apple blossom, but treated the matter 
with stern nonchalance. The priest was allowed 
to do all the talking during that half-hour. And 
I must say I heard news of gravity whilst 
sitting there endeavouring to cool. The pecca- 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 53 

dilloes of one poor woman were incisively criti- 
cised, my friend stating that he had no sort of 
influence over her. All the refractory sheep of 
the fold passed under review, and very many 
black ones were shown in their true colour. 
What interested me most, however, was a de- 
scription of the local game, following a lengthy, 
dissertation on the excellence of goats' milk, 
which was described as being particularly good 
for all humours of the blood. The Caza most 
difficult of access in Vizcaya is the ibex, or wild 
goat {Cobra monies), of which there are many in 
the mountains. This noble game is found in 
other parts of Spain, the finest of its haunts 
being the Sierra de Gredos. The worthy cura 
said that he would love to shoot ibex, and re- 
gretted that his sacred office debarred him from 
openly enjoying the pleasures of the chase. He 
had not been a stranger to such pursuits in his 
youth, however, having had many a wild hunt 
in the sierras ; and later on in life he had played 
the national game of pelota long after he had 
been installed in his first living, But now, he 
averred, his was a calm existence, muy placido ; 
and at one period of his incumbency his parish 
had been still calmer. Now that the dynamite 
fa&ory had begun work, and the paper mUl was 



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54 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

turning out plenty of packages, there were more 
souls to save, and more responsibilities devolved 
upon him. 

" I stick to my vocation," said he, " like the 
ibex sticks to its horns, but I am not of noc- 
turnal habits like that animal ; preferring rather 
to go to bed early and to keep out of mischief." 

" But do you not find it very dull here ? " I 
asked. " And what about preferment — that must 
be necessarily slow ? " 

" Ah ! my friend," he replied, " I never think 
of bishoprics — by family and by attainments I 
am worthy of one, although I say it myself, but 
I have no influence, I am poor. But then I 
always try to comfort myself with the reflection 
that virtue that is not disinterested ceases to be 
virtue." 

" Truly, a noble sentiment," I vouchsafed. 

41 O yes, here I am from year end to year end, 
with a church whose bell daily calls the 
attention of the world to the wretched archi- 
tecture of the edifice. But then I must not 
complain ; the humour of the country-side keeps 
me alive. Some of it is really good. Even this 
very day a little boy, whom I was examining in 
history, gave me a curious reply. I asked him 
who was the greatest conqueror the world has 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 55 

known, and he glibly answered, " Don Juan 
Tenorio." 

"Then, again, there was the carpenter's ap- 
prentice, who came to my place for night lessons 
with half-a-score of other dunces. He was a 
little free in his conversation and morals, and 
people looked askance at him. ' Come, my boy,' 
I said, ' brace yourself up and get to know some- 
thing about religion, then I'll be able to give you 
a good character.' « Ah, cura,' he replied, ' of 
what use is an excellent character if you cannot 
borrow money upon it ? ' Then, too, there was 
the little chap who said to his chum, when the 
latter boasted of his labours with dead languages, 
' I would recommend you to begin with your 
own, old fellow.' Ah, there is your train. Go 
with God. Good-bye." 



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VII 

PAMPLONA AND VILLAVA 

The proud pyramidal peak which stands sentinel 
over the little hamlet of Echari-Aranaz was 
taking the glory of the sunset as the train left 
the clear air, and the green undulating country, 
in which lies Als&sua. Beautiful indeed were 
the oak-woods in the valley of the Araquil as 
we slowly proceeded towards Pamplona. It was 
the close of a day such as that of which Herbert 
sang so exquisitely — 

" Sweet day so cool, so calm, so bright, 
The bridal of the earth and sky, 
The dew shall weep thy fall to-night ; 
For thou must die." 

The flight of the swallow is hardly more im- 
possible to me than the ability to fix the true 
image of that lovely scene in the heart of 
another; nor yet its message to me — for all 
languages are not of the sort we find in books, 
and all thought cannot be crystallized into 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 57 

language. I will, therefore, leave the indescrib- 
able pomp of this sunset undescribed. The 
sun had sunk, and the stars had come out, long 
before the electric lights of the city came into 
view, and the night had come down like a 
beautiful dream. 

Pleasant was the familiar voice of the factotum 
of the fonda who greeted me at the station. Here 
I encountered my old friend X., after a separation 
of seven years, during which interval we had both 
changed so much that we did not at first recog- 
nise each other. It was my good fortune to be 
able to extricate him from a difficulty in regard 
to his baggage — the porter of the hotel being 
unable to speak either French or German, to say 
nothing of English. 

X. was full of news. His latest volume of 
poems had just been issued, and I believe he 
had a copy in his dressing-bag, but he was too 
modest to show it. Afterwards, however, he 
sent me the book, and I revelled in his dainty 
verse for several days. 

After ascending the hill on which the city is 
perched, and rattling over the pavement of the 
narrow streets, I heaved a sigh of profound con- 
tent when the genial landlady of The Perla held 
out her left hand in welcome. Here, at any rate, 



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58 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

I was free from the eternal miseries of great 
hotels full of people, and yet so horribly empty : 
the torture of strange rooms and dubious beds. 
The Pearl is cosy and comfortable ; the hostess 
is obliging, and the chef is an artist. 

How I relished his asparagus and his stewed 
veal, washed down with divine claret of Logrofio ! 
After partaking of many other good things, I 
renewed my acquaintance with the little goddess 
of the household — a beautiful girl of fourteen. 
She had just been confirmed, and, modestly pro- 
ducing some photographs, she showed me how 
she looked in her exquisite white gown. 

"I have a story for you," she said, with 
charming naivet6» "The wife of a very old 
man died one day last July. ' Poor Pedro/ said 
a friend, desiring to console him, 'what a 
great loss thou hast sustained.' 'Don't you 
believe it,' said Pedro, * it is not so great a loss 
as you suppose, old fellow ; for on my marriage 
day I had seven pesetas, and to-day I still have 
five ; therefore my net loss is only two pesetas. 1 
What do you think of that?" asked my little 
sehorita. 

" I cannot think of it at all," I replied. " When 
I am here I can think of nothing but you." 

Whereat her woman's blood mounted to her 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 59 

cheeks and she retired to bed. She, at least, was 
still unpractised in the sublime coquetry of the 
Spanish female. 

In the morning I was awakened by the jang- 
ling of bells — church bells, sheep bells, cathedral 
bells, and the bells on the necks of the milch 
goats. Verily there is no lack of tintinabulatior* 
in Spain. The sun was hot in my balcony, and 
the great Plaza looked very bright and fresh. 
Boys with little barquillos (biscuit lotteries) were 
standing here and there in the shadow of the 
trees, and troops of dogs were quarrelling in the 
sun. 

I sat down and basked like an adder, the heat 
comforting me like strong wine. 

By and by the sound of music announced the 
approach of soldiers, and a regiment of infantry 
crossed the square, the men looking very pic- 
turesque in their grey caps, blue coats, and red 
trousers. 

After breakfast I leisurely made my way across 
the Plaza, skirting a garden where that strange, 
almost leafless, arbol de amor (Cercis sUiquastum) 
was displaying its wealth of peach-coloured blos- 
som, which springs straight from the trunk and 
branches. Crotons glistened in the sun, and the 
dear old-fashioned tulip was flaunting its showy 



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60 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

blood-red cups, tall and gay in the freshness of 
the morning. Giant peonies hung heavily on 
their stalks, and pansies were thriving in purple 
patches beneath bushes in whose friendly shadows 
finches were twittering their matins. All green 
things looked bright and cheerful ; for Pamplona, 
with her agua rica, spares not the garden hose. 

Leaving the terrible odours of the streets in 
the older part of the town, I emerged into the 
open space without the walls, by way of the 
drawbridged Puerta de Carlos Quint o. 

It was a feast day, and in the full blaze of the 
forenoon they were letting off rockets. Spaniards 
do not understand fireworks. They are pyro- 
technic by nature, yet they are not able to master 
the art of pyrotechnics. They delight in dis- 
charging rockets in daylight — the more brilliant 
the day the better. 

Down in the fosse men were busy spinning 
rope, and on the green grass fronting the ram- 
parts peasants were herding sheep and cows in 
the fresh west wind. 

The dry, exhilarating air was spiced with the 
perfume of the bean-fields, whose olive-green 
masses could be seen far off on the plain. The 
grey old walls of the citadel, on which so much 
blood has been shed, were all aflame with the 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 6 1 

appropriate scarlet poppy. Farther on, where, 
perhaps, Ignacio Loyola once stood during the 
memorable siege in which he figured, the ram- 
parts were gilded with masses of yellow wall- 
flower. 

I took the road leading to France by way of 
Mugaire, famed for its trout-streams. I had not 
gone far when I perceived a remarkable old 
man at the roadside. He was tending a flock 
of sheep— the stupidest and silliest animals in 
creation. The old fellow was erect as a wand 
and sprightly as a football player. As I passed 
he gave me good day. Shortly afterwards I 
heard him bellowing at the top of an unusually 
strident voice, " Come out of that, thou gour- 
mand, has not the good God given thee plenty 
of fresh green herb (yerba butna\ then why 
shouldst thou stray in the wheat?" And, to 
my surprise, the culprit sheep at once rejoined 
the flock, looking very much ashamed. 

Half way to Villava there is a magnificent 
view of peerless Pamplona. A view that stamps 
itself indelibly upon the memory ; a scene the 
proper appreciation of which thrills one with the 
conviction that something immaterial, eternal, 
abides within us. In the dry, clear air the 
special quality of Spanish landscape is there 



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62 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

seen to perfection. Bold and imposing is the 
tout ensemble. Itself somewhat colourless, proud 
Pamplona, the noble, the heroic, and leal city, 
stands on an eminence, its grey roofs, white 
walls, and ochre-coloured Cathedral towers 
sharply denned against the distant turquoise 
hills of Navarra. The more immediate moun- 
tains are of a darker, an indescribable blue. 
Truly a glorious prospect ! To right and left 
,of the city are hollows bright with poplars, red 
roofs, and running streams. Doves rise from 
the barracks and streak the air with burnished 
silver. All around me daisies powder the turf, 
which the earthworms have covered with a 
myriad tiny clay pellets.. It is the dear little 
daisy of Burns, 

" Wee modest crimson-tipped flower," 
the 

" Sweet nursling of another sky," 

and it fills me with a secret joy. 

Red and piebald beetles swarm in the scant 
grass, and the busy ants are ten thousand strong. 

Below me, through the spreading branches, 
I have the delectable prospect of the plain. 
The Arga, dreamily flowing through the flat, 
fertile land, is here and there shaded by innu- 
merable poplars, which whip the air an4 flick 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 63 

the blue water with indigo shadows. Farther 
out, the river, like a broad riband, takes the 
sky into its heart, assuming the same ethereal 
hue as the heavens. The plains are full of fresh 
young wheat, brilliantly gre§n. Long seams of 
yellow mustard intersect the square cornfields, 
and patches of blue flax shine here and there 
like a lovely mist. The distant Pyrenean spurs 
are still touched with snow ? and the low hills 
to my right are bare and ugly with the crude 
colour of the upturned earth of the leafless 
vineyards. All is practically unchanged from 
the Middle Ages. 

Clouds of dust rise in front of me as I cross 
the bridge to watch a fisherman tempting the 
pescado. I do not venture to approach him to 
enquire what manner of fish he tries to deceive. 
It may be truta or s&balo, lisa or alosa; it may 
even be escarcho or y&culo. I do not care to 
know. He stands among the poplar shadows? 
where the long grass shines like silk. In that 
cool shade hi$ sport must he a veritable plea- 
sure, the refreshing picture of the broad river 
ever before him. I wonder whether he has ever 
heard any whisper of good old Izaak Walton, 
or of Taylor the Water-poet — has any breath 
of their fame eyer floated a$ far as Pamplona ? 



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64 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

Does that fisherman sometimes sing with our 
classic angler ?— 

" I was for that time lifted above earth, 
And possessed joys not promised in my birth." 

The bridge spanning the Arga is also a feast 
for the eyes, its curves being all that could be 
desired. The Spanish puenU is always made for 
the painter, and to be a perpetual delight to all 
lovers of beautiful form. 

The noon waxes hotter and the cicalas begin 
to chirp on the wayside. I therefore hurry for- 
ward to order my luncheon, taking a brief glance 
at the typical village of Villava ; a congeries of 
tumbledown yellow-brick mansions once tenanted 
by hidalgos, but now the abode of the poorest of 
the poor. 

So dry and dusty and miserable the place 
looks, that it gives one the impression of being 
burnt out ; a city of the moon — all its passion 
vanished, all pomp and splendour for ever 
fled. Not least of the pathetic evidences of a 
bygone lustre are the numerous escutcheons 
which grace the walls, graved with the crests 
and quarterings of knights whose swords and 
lances were ever at the service of their lieges. 

After luncheon I turn back, and at the door 
of an alberga — the half-way house— I join a knot 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 65 

of peasants and am invited to partake of a 
draught of wine. 

I am much amused at a scrap of conversation 
I hear at this place. 

"Give me a cigar," says one young sottish 
lout with a lurch. 

" Impossible," says another of the company. 
" I have only the one I am smoking, and another 
dozen which I shall smoke after finishing this." 

Here I learn that quite forty per cent, of the 
land of Spain is uncultivated, and that the portion 
under cultivation is capable of being much more 
productive than it now is. I also discover the 
facfl that a vineyard labourer receives better 
wages than a man on a corn farm, or cortijo. 

A great heap of pigskins filled with wine lies 
at the gable end of the house, looking like a 
mass of carcases; the sun's hot rays fall full 
upon these antique receptacles, causing them 
almost to expand. 

As I proceed in the direction of the city, one 
or two men shoot past on their bicycles, waving 
me a salutation. A pert chaffinch drops into the 
road and revels in his dust-bath. A marsh-har- 
rier skims past, her eyes fixed hungrily on the 
ground. 

A skylark is singing far above me, his loved 



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66 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

ones in sight in the wheatfield below. With ever- 
fresh insistence, Watson's lines recur to me : — 

" Thy spirit knows nor bounds nor bars, 
On thee no shreds of thraldom hang. 
Not more enlarged the morning stars 
Their great Te Deum sang. 

" But I am fettered to the sod, 

And but forget my bonds an hour 
In amplitude of dreams a god, 
A slave in dearth of power." 

Sweet scents arise from the rejuvenated earth, 
but, predominating over all other odours exhaled 
by flowers this glorious May morning, the breath 
of the beanfields makes each moment fragrant 
with an indefinable, an almost unearthly sweet- 
ness. There is a special quality in this delicious 
air which exhilarates the soul, and constrains 
one to exclaim, " To live this single moment thus 
would be reward enough for an infinity of ills ! " 

A ramble through the Taconera, where the 
pansies are a sight for the gods, completes my 
morning exercise. I retire to my room for a 
siesta. There my slumber is undisturbed save 
by the mysterious frou-frou of silks when 

Madame V passes my door, on Ijer way to 

give my friend X. his first lesson in Spanish, 



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VIII 
PAMPLONA II 

At vesper time I made my way to the Cathedral, 
The coolness of the great temple was very refresh- 
ing after the heat of the Plaza. The air was 
heavy with the stale fumes of incense. A lighted 
chapel tempted me down one of the long aisles. 
In it there were many candles burning, and the 
altar was heaped with flowers. Seeing two 
female figures kneeling on the marble steps 
facing the lights, I stepped back into the deep 
shadow of an arch. The trains of their long 
black dresses reached half-way across the floor 
of the chapel. They were evidently mother and 
daughter, mourning for husband and father. 

I stood there a moment impressed by their 
absolute silence, and their attitude of profound 
sorrow. AH at once a young man emerged from 
the darkness of the aisle, and stood in the stream 
of light that issued from the capilla. The shadow 

of the reja fell across his face. Stooping to the 

f — 2 



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68 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

ground he unfastened his shoes, and, slipping 
them off, he crept towards the two worshippers. 
With the subtle instinct of love, one of the 
women turned her face slightly towards him as 
he approached, and as quickly turned it away. 
But a hand was held out behind her back and 
the creamy fingers were seized by the man and 
passionately kissed. He had given her a letter. 
He then quietly withdrew from the capilla, and 
with one longing, backward glance, and a heavy 
sigh, he disappeared; a shadow among the 
shadows. "How delicious it is to be young 
and to be in love," was my reflection, at the 
conclusion of this interesting scene. 

In the evening I went to the theatre. The 
entertainment was so poor that it would have 
merited the contempt of a marionette or of a 
Punch and Judy man. It was a farce entitled 
Ole Sevilla, by the " renowned author," Don 
Julian Romea. There is, however, one conso- 
lation left to the victim of third-rate Spanish 
actors, and that is the study of the audience. In 
the palcos there were several handsome girls in 
white and pink, whose necks and hair glittered 
with diamonds. They evidently found the piece 
diverting. In this most stupid farce an unlucky 
Englishman was held up to ridicule, as is usual 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 69 

in the modern Peninsular drama. Why we, as 
a nation, should be singled out by Continental 
peoples as the type of everything that is stupid, 
and vulgar, and ugly, passes all comprehension. 
But the stigma is on our good name, and we 
seem likely to retain our character of rich fools 
until the millennium. The only good thing on 
this poverty-stricken Pamplona stage was a 
Sevillan dance, which lasted barely five minutes. 
This just redeemed the function, giving it one 
little note of life, one gleam of piquant humanity. 

The " celebrated low comedian," Don Valentin 
Garcia, was the worst hand at buffoonery I have 
ever seen in my life. The rest of his Compaiiia 
Comico-Lirica were equally hopeless. Altogether 
Ole Sevilla was the vilest thing I have ever 
seen on any stage. But the aristocrats of Pam- 
plona (and all the people are aristocrats in that 
city) sat through the idiotic performance with 
every manifestation of lively approval. 

The impecuniosity of Spain is nowhere quite 
so apparent as in her provincial theatres. Save 
in Madrid and Barcelona there is usually a great 
lack of scenery, and a complete disregard for 
spedlacular effedt. Costume plays, which go so 
far towards educating a nation, are very rarely 
beheld. Glaring anachronisms are perpetrated 



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70 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

in the most unblushing manner. The prompter 
is nearly always to be heard above the harsh,- 
crude voices of the male adtors. The women 
are the better artists ; the men being on a much 
lower level in regard to intelligence, grace, and 
delivery. Then, too, the underbred deportment 
of these fellows grates on one's nerves. There 
is no fallacy more apparent in the Peninsula 
than the tradition of universal Spanish polite- 
ness. It is true that the average university man 
knows his manners, and that the lower classes 
display the instindtive courtesy of a Latin people ; 
but the bourgeoisie have but little real refinement, 
and men of this class fall far short of one's ideal 
formed by an acquaintance with the chara<5ler 
of the mediaeval Spaniard. Hence it is that 
such a play as that to which I have alluded 
becomes the apotheosis of vulgarity and the 
bounder. 

There was a great stir on Sunday, or, as the 
Spaniards say, Domingo. It was the festival of 
the children's patron saint, and the procession 
was worthy to be named with the ostentatious 
displays of the late Sir Augustus Harris. 

First came the mounted men of the Civil 
Guard, in their pidluresque three-cornered hats, 
and swash-buckler costumes of black and red, 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 7 1 

tricked out with gleams of white. Following 
these men there was a long string of anaemic 
boys representing the able-bodied urchins of 
Pamplona. Each of these weary-eyed little 
fellows bore a guttering candle or vela. Then 
came a host of girls, with a tiny maiden in the 
centre attired as an angel. There was much 
pathos in the sight of this poor creature, with 
her crumpled wings and her proud smile of real 
happiness. Next came the young men of the 
city with more candles and banners. They pre- 
ceded the image of the child Jesus. Its beauty 
affedled me strangely — actually making the sobs 
rise in my throat. Immediately behind this idol 
there was the effigy of the patron saint, herald- 
ing a crowd of ecclesiastics in gala vestments, 
who formed the bodyguard of a gorgeously- 
dressed Virgin. The Mother of Christ was 
standing in an attitude of prayer, her hands 
raised to Heaven. The long brown hair that 
touched her waist shone in the sunlight like 
spun silk. Thus upborne above the heads of 
the crowd this queenly image was most impres- 
sive and lifelike. 

The large plaza was full to overflowing with 
reverent people, and there was a great noise 
proceeding from the places where they were 



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72 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

discharging rockets. The dusty square, usually 
so colourless, now wore an aspect of extraor- 
dinary brightness. Every housewife had draped 
her balcony with shawls, flags, and beautiful 
table-cloths. In nearly every balcony there was 
a pretty woman. The plaza was thus invested 
with a peculiar interest. But what most excited 
my curiosity was the appearance of an ancient 
dame, who emerged from the French window 
of a romantic old casa. The shutters of this 
dwelling had been closed for months, and now 
they were at last thrown open. From my station 
in the second storey of the hotel I gained a 
glimpse of the severe interior of the mansion, 
with its draped furniture, and covered chande- 
liers. The old lady who had come out into the 
balcony was at least eighty years of age. She 
was clad in the customary black of saints' days 
and holy days. There she stood, one thin, 
trembling hand on the railing, the other on the 
shoulder of a maid. When the children passed, 
her blanched, wrinkled features tried to work 
themselves into a smile. For it was the sixth 
of May — the day of the innocents — the gala day 
of those who were not disillusionized. Standing 
there, near the faded glories of her home, listen- 
ing to the blare of the heralds' trumpets, the 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 73 

cheerful strains of the reed band, the swish of 
the rockets, and the loud jangle of inharmonious 
bells, I could not but regard her as almost a 
living image of that effete Church whose proud 
ministers were marching past at the rear of the 
procession in all the pomp of Romish pageantry, 
-the sun blazing upon the golden threads of their 
copes and chasubles. 

When the people had all left the square for 
the Cathedral, — whilst a pathetically brief sunset 
was touching the sky with incomparable splen- 
dour,—! saw the criada close those dusty shutters 
of the escutcheoned casa once again. When they 
were securely fastened I turned away to seek out 
my friendly Tauchnitz, thinking how typical was 
that ancient Duchess of the bygone greatness of 
Spain. Not only did she serve me as a sentient 
manifestation of the decay of a once all-powerful 
faith, but also as an emblem of a country the 
magnificence of whose wasted efforts would bQ 
beyond the power of my pen to describe, even 
were I gifted with the cacocthes scribendi of a Lop$ 
de Vega, 



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IX 
SAN MIGUEL AND IRURZUN 

Far away in the Navarrese hills lies the tiny 
hamlet of San Miguel. It is set in a dale which 
forms one of the links in a chain of valleys ex- 
tending from Tolosa to Irurzun ; another of the 
links in this cadena being the watering place of 
Betelii, famous for its mineral springs. 

I have friends at San Miguel, and it was in 
order to pay them a brief visit that I alighted at 
the railway station of Irurzun on the fourth of 
May. As there was no diligence I had to foot 
it up the hill to the alberga, where I engaged a 
mule. I then ordered lunch. The upper guest 
room was black with the smoke of ages. Hang- 
ing to its rafters were the inevitable algarrobas, 
capsicums, heads of maize, and strings of garlic. 
On the hearth a wood fire was fitfully sputtering, 
and sending out streams of pungent smoke into 
the apartment. I was informed that I might 
have pork chops. I therefore entered into a 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN J$ 

contracl: to consume a certain quantity of that 
delicate comestible. The day was sultry, and 
my throat was parched. As the landlady of the 
inn did not appear to be Argus-eyed, I took 
advantage of her absence when she went down- 
stairs to greet another guest, and stepped into 
the pantry in the wake of the girl who had gone 
to draw me a cup of wine. She was a buxom 
creature of twenty summers, and appeared much 
diverted at my inadequate Spanish. For it was 
indeed inadequate to express all the extravagant 
compliments which I felt constrained to shower 
upon her. In that stolen interview of one minute, 
however, I learned that her name was Juanita, 
and that she had a lover. I was also enabled 
to select the least fat of several terrible pork 
cutlets, which were soon frizzling under Juanita's 
dainty fingers. 

In my absence another traveller had arrived. 
The newcomer was a Frenchman, and he took 
a seat near me with exaggerated deference. 
Very soon a fearsome liquid was set before us, 
which was supposed to be soup, but which 
appeared more like the water in which dishes 
had been washed. In this potage great hunks of 
bread were swimming. The Frenchman, who 
did not appear anxious to enter into conversa- 



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}6 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

tion, had one helping of this precious conco&ion 
and then he began to gesticulate. With a nod 
of comprehension the old hostess withdrew, and 
returned with another platter of soup. 

" Non, non," cried the Frenchman, in his own 
language, " it is fish I require." - 

" More bread in it ? ah ! yes, I understand,'* 
said the Sehora in Castiliah. She re-entered 
her larder and came back with a large roll. 

"Non, non," shouted the bewildered guest, 
" See, I will show you." With this he pro- 
ceeded to sketch a fish. 

" Very pretty pidture," eaid the Senora, ap- 
provingly. Then turning to ma she observed — 

" El es pintor." 

" Evident emcnte" I replied, not wishing to dis- 
close the fait that I was an Englishman. 

" Good to eat," screamed the Gaul. 

" Yes, yes, good to eat," laughed the hostess. 

"Donnez-moi dupoisson," he insisted. 

"No comprendo," she purred, still smiling the 
pitying smile which so greatly annoys the mis- 
understood, 

" He requires pcscado," I broke in. 

" Pcscado we have not here," she said laugh- 
ingly, "there isn't such a thing; but there are 
Some excellent pork chops for the Sehor." 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 77 

And he had to be content with these dainties, • 
to which was added the universal gazpacho. 

It was at this selfsame fonda that a man com- 
plained of fleas in his bed. " Ah, yes," said the 
landlady, " you told me yesterday, and I've sent 
for my daughter who lives at Alsasua ; she 
catches them better than any of us in the 
house." 

By and by I left the inn and mounted my 
mule, which set off along the white carretera at 
a breakneck speed. This most extraordinary 
animal kept up the pace for a good four 
miles, and I was reluctantly led to suspect that 
Antonio, the ploughboy, had given the poor 
creature something to make her go. At any rate, 
Antonio had not the satisfaction of seeing me 
thrown, which untoward occurrence might per- 
haps have afforded the villagers a somewhat 
unusual amusement. Hence it was that my 
impressions were a little chaotic on my out- 
ward journey to San Miguel through really fine 
scenery. 

I arrived at my friend's house hot, and dusty, 
and tired. There I was refreshed with .thin 
cerveza and regaled with accounts of the winter 
shooting. Bears had been rather numerous, 
owing to the severity of the frost, and several 



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78 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

had been killed. The wolves had shown some 
temerity, too, and not a few had paid for their 
rashness. I found these mountaineer acquain- 
tances in a rather melancholy humour, but they 
smiled when I told them of the ride I had had, 
and laughed outright when I reminded them of 
my previous visit, on which occasion Antonio 
rode the mula, and I bestrode a steed kindly lent 
me by a sergeant of caballeria. That was a visit 
paid during winter, and it was dark when we had 
set off from San Miguel to Irdrzun. Hearing a 
dismal howling in the hills I had incidentally 
asked the plough-boy whether there were wolves 
about, never dreaming that such would be the 
case. To my surprise he said — 

" Hay muchos lobos pot aqui" (There are many 
wolves hereabouts.) 

Then it was that the Bucephalus which be- 
longed to the polite sergeant found out how 
pressing was my errand to the railway station. 
Of these and many other matters we spoke, 
and I bade farewell, leaving the mule to be sent 
after me in the custody of an urchin. 

I set forth on foot, pencil and paper in hand. 
To my right brawled the clear stream, and 
beyond its further margin the steep slopes were 
covered with brushwood, in all the fairy hues of 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 79 

spring. Patches of velvety sward of the most 
vivid of emerald greens were dotted with sheep 
and tiny white lambs. Thrushes were singing 
lustily in the coverts which fringed the green 
mountain beck. Yellow-hammers flitted from 
bush to bush on the wayside, and many un- 
familiar birds were roused as I examined thet 
hedgerows. This pastoral scene was a realiza- 
tion of Arcady. It was so quiet, so sunny, so 
green, and so refreshing. Loitering along the 
highway, I passed an agreeable half-hour in a, 
sort of day-dream. I was roused by the approach 
of a paralytic, whose poor, thin hands trembled 
in the sunlight. 

" Adios" he said, trying to touch his blue boina. 

An impulsive pity took possession of me, and 
putting my arm through his, I asked him how 
long he had been afflicted. 

" Seven years, hijo mio" he replied. " Once I 
could play pelota with the best of them — Dorogr 
goyen wasn't in it with me— yes, and I used to 
play the giddy goat as well, but now it's an age 
since I was able to set a bad example. I had a 
son once. He loves me no more. I gave him 
all in his youth, and when I am old he gives mq 
nothing. The keenest ploughshare that cuts intQ 
the heart is a child'? neglefl. I ain pnly fit for 



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80 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

a box, to be put in the earth. Adios, hijo, enjoy 
your youth. I myself will soon get the full 
measure of life's greatest boon, the treasure of 
sleep." 

He then went on his way, and there, in the 
midst of the wild beauty of spring, a prescience 
of age touched my heart with a hand of ice. A 
sense of the futility of life cast over the land- 
scape the shadow of an invisible cloud. The 
mention of that unfilial ingratitude reminded 
me of the expression of one of my Lancashire 
friends: "The cat takes mice to th' kitlings, 
but I'll be damned if ever I knew t'kitlings 
bring owt to t'cat." 

Muscular brown cattle were feeding on the 
scrub of the hillsides, and the faint tinkling of 
their bells revived me. It was a note of life, of 
hope, of virile humanity. Away I sped at a 
smart pace, past fields of wheat whose vivid 
green refreshed my eyes, tired with the glare of 
the highway. Soon I overtook a peasant in blue 
trousers and shirt, a brown plaid slung over his 
shoulder. 

" Good day, brother," he grunted, as he stolidly 
trudged along. "What are you doing in this 
land ? What is the name of your pais ? " 

I then came upon other country people, on 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 8 1 

their way to market. They were guiding mules, 
over whose backs were slung panniers of bleat- 
ing lambs. 

At this part of the valley there was little of 
interest to the botanist ; clumps of green helle- 
bore and a few scabious being the chief blos- 
soms under the hedges. Some poisonous plants 
attracted attention, however ; one with a brown 
and green flower being especially noticeable. 

The sun had deserted the valley, where 
wrens were warbling their joy, like fairy bells 
imagined in childhood. A flood of ligfy: was 
climbing the eastern slopes. The evening 
magic touched the oaks on the summit with 
a splendid glow. Down below, the bronzed 
peasants were still hard at work guiding the 
slow-moving cattle over the brown soil, filling 
and emptying their primitive basket-waggons 
of fertilizing matter. 

Midway between San Miguel and Irtirzun 
there is a tiny brown hamlet with an almost 
windowless church. This unpretentious build- 
ing is surrounded by sturdy old houses devoid 
of glass. The north wind blows keen and cold 
from the high peaks behind Tolosa, and bal- 
conied windows are not in favour in these parts. 
Navarra lies about two thousand four hundred 

G 



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82 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

feet above the level of the sea, and the rarefied 
air of winter bites cruelly. There are no gal- 
lants, and but few guitars, in this neighbourhood. 
Gardens exist only in the imagination of the 
people, and even the nightingale, so ubiquitous 
|n Spain, prefers a happier spot. Stern and 
ancient and ugly the village stands, in the midst 
pf fertile meadows, the river running hard by. 
As I passed, thinking of its tragedies and its 
comedies, women were going to a field for water, 
their steel-rimmed pails poised upon their heads. 
They were heavy, uncouth creatures, brutalized 
by the weary toil pf uneventful years. Never- 
theless there was that in their carriage which 
suggested the nobility of poverty — the inherent 
goodness of those whp come closest to Nature, 
the tillers of the soil. There was, too, a hint of 
hidden suppleness that could readily respond to 
the jerky music of the jota. And, moreover, the 
steady light in their lustrous eyes to}4 of a 
wealth of love lavished upon the idols of their 
hearts. 

On the highway directly opposite the village 
a stone states that the distance to Pamplona is 
four leagues, and glad I felt that it was not my 
fate to have to do the journey to that city 
entirely on foot. Here the streain i§ pretty 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 83 

wide, and a delightful picture now presented 
itself. A young peasant with bright black eyes 
deserted the road to guide his two oxen and 
lumbering wain through the river. He began 
to ford the stream, but drowsy with the heat 
of the afternoon, he stopped to gaze into the 
languid current swirling about his bare legs. 
The grateful beasts lapped the cool water in 
great content. It was an exquisite scene — 
Arcady again. The rich, deep brown of the 
roofs of the old farmhouses contrasted pleasantly 
with the pink and white of the apple blossoms 
in their orchards. Acres of yellow crowfoot 
and white daisies shone in the meadows. The 
lithe, blue-clad figure of the lazy youth and his 
dun-coloured cattle were mirrored in the stream, 
in a drooping attitude of perfect indolence. 
Pranking the rocks on one side of the water 
was a fine yellow acacia ; the other was en- 
livened by bushes of golden broom. These were 
likewise reflected in the grey-green serenity of 
the river. The tout ensemble was exquisite. It 
was a picture that will never fade from my 
memory. 

On my left, light grey rocks rose in tremendous 
precipices, barren and bleak even in the sunlight, 

but tragic and terrible when the sun forsakes 

g — 2 



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84 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

them. These desolate escarpments are the haunt 
of the peregrine falcon and the griffon buitre. 
This vulture works much mischief among the 
kids and lambs. I could see the great birds 
wheeling aloft in endless circles, in the evening's 
clear opalescent light. In the interstices of the 
crags I found the pretty cinquefoil, and a sort 
of cranesbill which was more violet in hue than 
its English cousin. 

Serranos with tragic countenances brought 
down their noisy sheep. Like all dwellers in 
valleys, they find their environment of moun- 
tains somewhat too inevitable. Those exqui- 
site glimpses of faint blue horizons, and vague 
purple distances — behind which Fancy pictures, 
not perhaps cities of faery, but the ideal place, 
the desired habitation — are denied to dales- 
men, save when they choose to climb to some 
Pisgah-peak. The old man in his declining 
years smokes his pipe contemplatively, his 
eyes resting upon the barrier hills. To him 
appears no beautiful, misty view, with a sug- 
gestion of the Infinite — the delegable land, 
the ultimate bourne. The mountaineer is there- 
fore more or less liable to become soured, 
morose, hypochondriacal; although true, honest 
human sympathy never ceases to live in his 



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wmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmBemseBm — ■■ - ■■ u 



IDYLLS OF SPAIN 85 

bosom. The conditions under which we exist 
have more effect upon our development as men, 
both mentally and physically, than we imagine. 
What should we become were we condemned to 
spend the remainder of our existence in a brown 
house without a pane of glass in that quiet 
hamlet near Irurzun ? Thus thinking of the 
rugged features of these poor shepherds, scored 
with furrows made by the ploughshare of mono- 
tonous lives, I became myself somewhat sad. 
In this frame of mind I arrived at a roaring weir 
with its line of plentiful white froth, foaming at 
the foot of the immense rocks which form the 
doorway to the chain of valleys. These rocks are 
known as Las Dos Hermanns — the Two Sisters. 
Rising nearly a thousand feet from the valley, 
these perpendicular pinnacles of tertiary con- 
glomerate are really awe-inspiring. Touched 
here and there with ferns, flowering heath, and 
evergreen shrubs, they present a most solemn 
and fantastic appearance. The one which lay 
on my right is the favourite nesting-place of the 
wide- winged griffon vultures, which are always 
to be seen about it. Even as I gazed, one great 
bird descended into a mountain pasture like a 
plummet, and, snatching a hare, bore the poor 
creature aloft to a ledge on the inaccessible pre- 



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86 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

cipice. This must have been a lammergeyer, 
however, as it seemed to be of an extremely 
large size ; moreover the bird had a white head, 
which the sunlight showed off to great advan- 
tage. I very much regret my inability to obtain 
more accurate information in regard to the vul- 
tures of Las Dos Htrmanas, but it seems certain 
that the patriarchal buitres, having their eyries 
in these rocks, are griffons, and that lammer- 
geyers occasionally visit the place. 

These peiiasy or peaks, are indescribably grand. 
Thoroughly to appreciate their inspiring solem- 
nity, one must leave the spot whence one can 
see the col on the greater Sister, and passing the 
quiet grey canal with its lines of beautiful pop- 
lars, take up a station beyond the little factory 
and near to the turbulent river. The bed of the 
torrent is now seen to advantage, full of white 
rocks pranked with black velvet moss, round 
which the water whitens in spume. From this 
standpoint the grandeur of Las Dos Hermanas 
appears most striking. The two pinnacles be- 
come invested with a sort of mysterious human 
interest. Strange and weird are these giant 
cliffs, the guardians of an Arcadian solitude. 
The little cottages which cower at their feet 
seem to be endeavouring to sink into the earth, 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 87 

oppressed by the enormous bulk of the rocks. 
How wild and free the existence of the vultures 
on those giddy heights! How many and sad 
have been the vicissitudes in the lives of the 
peasants that have been witnessed by those 
huge buitres ! Returning at eventide to feed a 
downy fledgeling with pellets of half-digested 
food disgorged from his carrion crop, growling, 
like an animal, his savage song of tenderness, 
what news the male gives to his mate 1 

On my previous visit the night wind whistled 
round these bleached summits in the solemnity 
of darkness like eerie voices, — as if legions of 
shrieking spirits rode the blast which roared 
through this gateway of the north. Now there 
was no breath of wind to stir the white dust of 
the road. It was here that I met an English 
youth two years before. My cavalcade was per- 
ambulating the highway on the outward journey 
to San Miguel, and we came upon him at the 
foot of the cliffs. He was gazing at the " chim- 
nies " with hungry eyes. He was a footballer 
by build, and his ears proclaimed him a Rugby 
" forward." We said very little to each other, 
both of us being pessimistic and morose. He, 
too, had had to load a cargo of the delegable 
pork cutlets of the alberga. He was at the 



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88 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

station of Irtirzun when I returned at night 
with a bruised shin. 

"I have vomited blood," he said, '* excuse 
me taking you round to the back, but you 
ought to see what a quantity I have parted- 
with. I really must be in a bad way. I wish 
I could get some brandy." 

Moved by his solicitations, I commenced my 
duties as physician, and found that his blood 
resolved itself into the juice of innumerable 
blackberries. 

Occupying myself with this amusing recollec- 
tion, I made my way through the swine which 
snuffed about the road, past the deliciously- 
scented beanfields of the valley of the Araquil. 

In the main street of the pueblo I was amused 
by a parrot perched in a window, which mocked 
the squalling babies and the young goats. The 
cries of the latter are even more plaintive than 
those of the human animal. It was the true 
village of North Spain, with the murmur of 
everlasting gossip, the faint flavour of onions 
and garlic, the aroma of cooking oil, and the 
free-and-easy sense of comfortable poverty. 
Little boys were running to play pdoia with 
tiny fives' bats. There were no beggars visible, 
and the tall, fat cura swept through the one and 



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■ ■ i.ff»<rw »a fr ■i .* » ; ' C> t iMW i M^M l^ » »-*^ >^ " r 3 



IDYLLS OF SPAIN 89 

only street like a monarch, his black habiliments 
sombre against the grey dust. Here the cura 
reigns supreme, touching the hearts of the men 
through those of the women ; proud of his parish 
and of his power, and happy in his despotic 
celibacy. 

The hills of Zuasti, of Echari-Aranaz, and of 
Huarte-Araquil, so sharp and severe in their 
outlines during the heat of noon, were now 
vaguely beautiful even as a dream. The loud 
rattle of the grillos, or mole-crickets, was hushed. 
At the end of the great valley the mountains 
about Alsasua were lost in a riot of purple 
cumuli, rolling towards me on the wings of the 
west wind. More clouds came flying over from 
Tolosa, leaden-hued and massive in the growing 
dusk, suggestive of Wellington and war : for our 
never-to-be-forgotten soldier-hero once passed 
through this hollow of the Araquil, leading his 
men to splendid victories. 

Violet shadows began to fill the valley, and 
the frogs of Aristophanes set up their noisy 
evening chorus. 

" Will you have a drink of wine, amigo" said 
a sweet-souled peasant, standing at the door of 
his white-washed cot. 

I could not refuse such kindness. Taking 



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90 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

the little skin filled with the generous liquor of 
Navarra, I drank to his welfare, and lingered 
in pleasant converse. His ambition was to 
be the capataz of a good vineyard — to give 
orders, not to be ordered. It was a modest 
wish, and I should have liked to have heard 
more of his aims and hopes. But the smoke 
and steam of the advancing train streaked the 
exquisite hues of the gloaming, and I had per- 
force to go. I shook the hand of this courteous 
fellow with the usual compliments, but my 
41 Gracias " and my " Adios " did not convey to his 
heart what I should have liked to have said. 
He was a labourer, an uneducated peasant — 
but his rounded temples, his truthful impulses, 
his expressive eyes, his manly bearing, told me 
that he had the large and beautiful soul of a 
Burns. He was no doubt a songless singer, 
weighed down by want and the imperative 
demands of half-a-dozen dirty children. Per- 
haps not altogether a songless swain. Surely 
he might have been able to give me a taste of 
his quality, in the way of improvising a graceful 
malagueha— one of those spirited, semi-Moorish, 
extempore songs that never fail to stir my blood 
like wine. Only a Navarrese peasant ! But 
men are brothers the wide world over, and that 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 9 1 

peasant of Irurzun is my brother. His was 
no mean gift — no mere politeness. His good- 
ness made a deep impression on me — it touched 
my heart; and my most charming memory of 
this little excursion is that unsolicited kindness, 
that fraternal chat in the purple twilight, heavy 
with the sweet incense of the dewy beanfields. 



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X 

PAMPLONA TO RIVAFORADA 

At cockcrow on Monday, May 7th, 1894, I left 
dear old Pamplona, and rolled down to the sta- 
tion in the rickety omnibus. My leave-taking 
was confined to one domestic, and his flat- 
tering attention in getting up so early was duly 
rewarded. I remember hearing of an irritable 
old fellow who was so annoyed at the charges 
made for lights in France that he began to 
formulate a scheme of revenge. As the time 
approached for his departure from Bordeaux, 
a brilliant idea struck him. To each of the 
expedlant domestics assembled on the stairs to 
make their cringing adieux, he would present a 
bougie. This plan was duly carried out, and the 
menials, who graced the scene of his farewell, 
were said to have made quite a respe<5table 
funeral procession, holding the unlighted tapers 
of the Englishman's eclairage item. 

The spedlacle of the grey, shadowy hills, 
changing colour at the approach of dawn, 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 93 

effectually banished the drowsiness insepara- 
ble from such early rising. The train moved 
with slow, deliberate motion, so that I could 
distinguish the voices of the birds in the trees 
by the railway. They were at matins, and 
when the sun appeared, and stood a moment 
tip-toe upon a dim-blue peak, the sweet cho- 
risters broke forth into more strenuous song. 
The vapours disappeared as if by magic, and 
the blood of a new morning ran through the 
veins of the chilly earth. 

As we rolled down into the flat, hedgeless 
country, the hills about Pamplona lost the 
vague blue of dawn and much of their sharp- 
ness of contour, becoming mere shadows on 
the horizon, eventually losing themselves in a 
silver-grey mist. 

Here and there slender pillars of smoke, and 
patches of green turf, made the furrowed plain 
bright and homely. Sleek donkeys were feeding 
on the crisp grasses of these bright oases, and 
peasants lounged about in the fresh, sweet air, 
accompanied by their faithful podencos. The 
chestnuts at the tiny wayside stations were full 
of massive foliage, pranked with showy pyra- 
mids of red blossom. Through the openings 
between these trees there were delightful 



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94 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

glimpses of the country. The beauty of these 
long, level expanses of land in the wine districts 
of Navarra is really remarkable. Miles upon 
miles of flower-flecked plain stretch out to the 
horizon. The beholder inwardly cries with 
King Richard: — 

" A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse ! " 

To ride across those smiling tracts, of appa- 
rently illimitable extent, would indeed work 
magic in the blood. Our systems crave the 
exercise; they call out for it, and become in- 
tolerably insistent. 

Far, far away, what appear to be fairy cities 

catch the unclouded splendour of the morning. 

One of those would be our goal : — 

" I and my mistress, side by side, 
Shall be together, breathe and ride, 
So one day more am I deified." 

We would ride until our souls "smoothed 

themselves out, — long-cramped scrolls freshening 

and fluttering in the wind. . . ." 

By and by we passed out of Navarra into 

Aragon, where the lean peasants were at work 

in the early day. They are bronzed by the 

torrid sun, dried up and prematurely aged in 

these parched plains, where the tillage is still 

that of the apcients. "Thou shalt eat thy 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 95 

bread by the sweat of thy brow" — that text 
seemed to be burning about them in letters 
of fire. And their labour, — what of that? 
Their daily toil in the mile -long furrows? 
What does it bring at the close of the day, after 
the heavy tribute exadled by the State on agri- 
cultural produce has been taken into account ? 
And my labour, — what of that ? Is it fruitful, is 
it sweet? Alone at that hour, with the pageant 
of wild Nature around me, the thought of the 
meagre achievements of my own life wrung a 
pang of terror from my heart. An inner voice 
cried out upon the futility, the hopelessness, of 
the work accomplished in hours of uncongenial 
pursuits, and I felt the convidlion strike home 
unerringly that I had been planting good seed in 
a sort of Sahara, destined never to be fruitful. 

Approaching Castejon, we passed through 
immense wheatfields, irrigated from the bounti- 
ful waters of the great river. Here the country 
looks almost virginal in its primitive simplicity 
and rustic quiet. The soil appears dry, clayey, 
and unkincjly, but from the heavy grey clods the 
withered toiler draws his sustenance, making 
even the stones bring forth fruit. 

After describing curves for hours, with heavy, 
somnolent movement, the train brought us where 



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96 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

certain Navarrese peaks started once more into 
life, purple in the intenser light. The sun was 
now high in the heavens, and little yellow-brown 
pueblos y perched here and there on slight eleva- 
tions, basked in the serenity of the forenoon. 

Crossing the sandy river Aragon, we came 
upon the broad Ebro, glittering in the sunlight. 
Then we beheld Castejon with its welcome cafS au 
lait. Breakfast over, I returned to the carriage 
and found that I had a companion. He was 
an old man with an intolerably uninteresting 
face. I should have liked a typical Spaniard, 
witty, vivacious, and sharp as a dagger point. 
This person was a nondescript. His grey eyes 
were keen and penetrating, however, and his 
mouth was very firm. I set myself the task of 
discovering his talents. I mentally vivisected 
him, and after carefully weighing all the pros 
and cons, I finally voted him a blank and a 
bore. We sat in absolute silence, he engrossed 
with the view, I scowling like Mephistopheles 
and the average Englishman. All at once I 
saw his countenance lighten. Both eyes and 
mouth softened wonderfully. He smiled. It 
was a gleam of sunshine on a leaden sea. A 
little child was waving a tiny hand at the train. 
That infantile salute had moved him. He was 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 97 

a father, a grandfather perhaps, and he was 
thinking of his children. His eyes turned upon 
me, and behold, what a transformation ! It was 
the look that must have been in the eyes of 
Christ when He bade His apostles let the brown 
infants of Judaea approach Him to receive the 
divine blessing. He had the fine, nervous 
hands of an artist, with delicate, long taper 
fingers. They settled the question. I spoke. 
His voice did the rest,— it was a revelation of 
exquisitely cadenced timbre. He was a Ger- 
man, but he answered me in Castilian, the 
conversation was then continued in English. 
He stumbled over every r in the regulation 
manner, but his knowledge of our literature 
made up for his defects in pronunciation. He 
turned out to be a painter in search of the 
picturesque. Needless to say, he had found 
it, and was satisfied with it. I was much 
astonished when he said that he loved Ruskin. 
" Yes," he added, " and the truest thing the 
master has ever said is that ' the object in all 
Art is not to inform, but to suggest ; not to add 
to the knowledge, but to kindle the imagination/ 
And the object of Nature in creating these 
great plains, for instance, is the same. Think 
it out, my friend." 



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98 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

And I did think it out, finding myself in 
perfect agreement with him, for he had the 
sincerity and directness of Ruskin himself, 
which is saying a great deal. 

Beyond Castejon, we passed through low 
ranges of dreary clay-coloured hills into a kind 
of desert, a black and stony place, an Arabia 
Petrae, and at length arrived at the railway 
station of Tudela, where a hundred women or 
more were chattering on the platform backed 
by green groves alive with twittering birds. 
Here the German artist left me, with the 
memory of compassionate eyes, and a beau- 
tiful, sympathetic voice. 

I did not wonder at his proposed stay at 
this place when I saw the glorious picture of 
Tudela's long and lovely bridge spanning the 
broad Ebro, its seventeen arches of different 
styles all faithfully reflected in the still water. 
On both sides of the river diligent housewives, 
in red and blue garments, were washing clothes. 
As they paused to glance at the train, the Ebro, 
enamoured of their graces, duplicated their 
figures in the untroubled stream. 

These women looked so placid and so very 
commonplace, that the uninitiated would never 
suspect the existence of that inner fire which 



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IDVLLS OF SPAIN 99 

breaks out in their bosoms, and boils through 
their blood, at the first burst of Oriental melody 
from the guitars of their kindred ; those weird 
and savage strains, tinged with a delightful 
melancholy, that make each fat woman almost 
the embodiment of exquisite movement, as she 
undulates in the mazes of a malaguena, or the 
brisk whirl of a bolero ! 

Through the arches beyond the bridge I could 
see a wonderful perspective. Each Gothic, each 
Saracenic, each Roman curve, framed a view in 
which distance was idealized, and the plain 
made tender and beautiful as a vision. Idyllic 
repose was the dominant note of this charming 
scene. An antique repose, that was perhaps 
irksome to Tudela's celebrated Jew — a serenity 
of life which doubtless led that honest Benjamin 
to travel, and to 6eek distraction in a noisier 
world. But since his time Tudela has greatly 
changed, and many generations have passed 
away. 

An old Spaniard had taken the German's 

corner, and it was not long before he found his 

tongue. He descanted on the bygone glories of 

the place, and of the famous garrison soldiers — 

the Almogdvares — of the king of Aragon, who 

were formerly quartered here. He had an un- 

h— 2 



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IOO IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

appreciative wife— poor wide-eyed enthusiast! 
She was sitting by his side, the embodiment of 
an unknown quantity. She had a face like a 
purple pumpkin, and a smile like that of a 
butcher when he is selling a piece of tuber- 
culous meat. And alas ! that it should be told 
— he had a still more unappreciative sister-in- 
law, who was the other unit in his undesirable 
bodyguard. There is only one thing worse 
than the nagging mother-in-law, and that is a 
sarcastic cunada. 

" You must discount what he says of Tudela," 
said the wife, with her slaughter-house grin. 

"Yes, one hundred per cent.," said the acidu- 
lated sister-in-law, with sexton-like solemnity : 
"and believe me," she added unctuously, "he 
knows as much as I about the winged serpent 
that was killed by Guzman the Good." 

Shortly after leaving Tudela, new effects of 
colour began to dazzle my eyes with unaccus- 
tomed vividness. Here great olivares all aflame 
with scarlet poppies, burning brightly beneath 
the grey-green foliage ; there a long cool light 
of pale yellow in the fields. Patches of poppies 
besprinkled the railway slopes with indescri- 
bable brilliance on a level with our heads. 
Against the magic-hearted sky of Spain these 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN IOI 

scarlet flowers have a wonderful value. Strag- 
glers came down even into the cinders of the 
track, and whole armies of them rioted in the 
vineyards, amidst the light gold of the wild 
mustard. 

At Rivaforada there was a suprise in store 
for me. When the train came to a stand-still 
in the station, I alighted a moment, and at last 
beheld a realization of my ideal of captivating 
southern loveliness. One is continually reading 
about the beauty of Spanish women, and to do 
the country justice, one not infrequently en- 
counters magnificent specimens of the opposite 
sex. Yet even the most juvenile debutanU 
uses the puff and powder to such an extent 
that her freshness is spoilt, although the regu- 
larity of features and sparkling eyes may not be 
marred. Hence it was that I positively thrilled 
when I beheld a dark beauty of seventeen, lean- 
ing out of a bedroom window of the station* 
master's house. She was ravishing, inspiring, 
altogether unique, — a gloriously perfe<5l Juliet. 
Imagine, if you can, how beautiful she looked 
in the splendid glow of noon ! Refined features, 
of the purest Grecian type; exceedingly long 
dark lashes, ever and anon veiling the most 
wonderful of all possible midnight eyes : black 



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102 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

eyebrows drawn straight as a line across a 
low forehead, and great masses of raven hair — 
almost purple in the shadows — piled high upon a 
shapely head, that was set upon ivory shoulders 
such as Juno might have envied. In these heavy 
locks there was a pomegranate blossom, and 
another in the bosom of her low-necked black 
dress. The creamy whiteness of her skin was 
heightened by a hint of crimson in her cheeks, 
and the desirable richness of her scarlet lips 
outrivalled the pomegranate flowers. 

She had an excellent foil in a red-haired Hebe 
who had alighted from the train. This wench, 
whose bare head bore a remarkable resemblance 
to a disorganised omelette, was conversing with 
my goddess, who played with a rose and ogled 
the passengers. On the principle that you can- 
not gaze too hard at a Spanish lady, I stared 
for all I was worth, and catching the maiden's 
eye, ejaculated one intelligible and comprehen- 
sive word, " Hermosisima /" In a momentary lull 
of the platform chatter, she heard my compliment 
and hid it in her heart a moment. Then it came 
out on her lovely face like a miniature morning. 
She did not take long to make up her mind, but 
immediately threw me her rose and an imaginary 
kiss. I caught the flower and put it to my lips 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN IO3 

in an affected transport of delight. Then the 
porter shouted with raucous insistence — 

" Sehores viajeros al tren /" 
Dread cry ! The signal for the eternal separa- 
tion of two hearts united for one never-to-be- 
forgotten moment of mutual admiration ! 

O, that I could have stayed at Rivaforada a 
year, a month, a week, nay even an hour ; so 
that I might have stood beneath the window, 
like the red-haired Hebe, listening to the 
laughter of the swallows, and the delicious 
accents of that peerless girl of Navarra ! For 
be it known that Castilian falls from the lips of 
a lovely woman like immaterial nedtar, like the 
language of visions. Sweet and radiant maid of 
Rivaforada ! She will never know, she cannot 
know, her mind is not large enough to allow her 
to know, how beautiful she seemed to me. And 
lovely indeed she was, set in that framework of 
roses; the cinnamon-breasted swallows, as if 
enamoured of her charms, fluttering under the 
eaves above her head, each tiny voice like an 
audible caress. She was a memorable morning 
clothed in radiant flesh. She was for the mo- 
ment steeped in and etherealized by the lumi- 
nous mist of the imagination, and the rose she 
threw to me conveyed to my heart the love and 



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104 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

sympathy of Spain. She was the embodiment 
of Spain as I love to think of the country. The 
very wind was full of her, and sweet with her 
presence, as I received it on my forehead when 
I craned my neck for a final farewell, and as 
Rivaforada faded from my eyes* and we got 
farther and farther away from my goddess — away 
into a sun-baked desert in which the black sheep 
were cropping the scanty herbage — the barren, 
loveless landscape became voiceful, and the pal- 
pitant air became articulate with one exquisite 
and all-powerful word — Amqr I 



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XI 
RIVAFORADA TO ZARAGOZA 

After leaving Rivaforada I found myself once 
more in a vine country, backed by ranges of 
lone hills — the abode of the vulture and the 
eagle — whence the wolves sweep down even in 
April. 

It is astonishing how the vine can extract 
nutriment from such a torrid and unkindly soil. 
The vineyards always look so green and so 
prosperous. Their tender leafage flutters in the 
wind, cool and fresh even in the burning after- 
noons of August. With roots deep down in the 
soil the vine thrives when every other plant is 
burnt up. 

At Rivaforada my compartment had been, 
invaded by a couple of travellers. One was a 
hunchback woman of some three-and-twenty 
summers, and the other her husband, a man 
of thirty-five or thereabouts. I hardly noticed 
the grey-green oliveyards and the succession 



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106 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

of toneless landscapes betwixt Rivaforada and 
Gallur, because I was so engrossed in observing 
the touching love and devotion of the husband 
for his crippled wife. Thereupon I conceived a 
Spanish poem, which I take the liberty of sub- 
mitting to my indulgent readers. It is supposed 
to embody the thoughts of my ws-b-vis for his 
unfortunate esfosa : — 

A UNA ESTROPEADA. 

La flor de la uva blanquizca 

Es poco de ver : 

Porque la flor es peque&a, 

Asf eres tu ; — 

La gente mirandola dice 

"I Es nada, es nada, la flor 1" 

La gente mirandote dice 

"i No me gusta — ni para amor 

Ni para nada ! " I Duefio 

Yo soy de tu alma, querida, — 

Eso conozco sin duda, — 

Y digo que todo tienes 

Dentro de tu corazon ; — 

Si, todo lo bueno tienes 

Que hay en la flor de la uva ; 

Poder de fijar en mi alma 

Que un hombre es casi divino, 

Que divina y mas eres tu ! 

These stanzas remind me of the remark of a 
candid friend to whom I once read a precious epic. 
" My dear boy," he said, with grave earnestness, 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 107 

" I'll tell you what to do with your verses — use 
them to put your creditors to flight." 

It was really touching to see that fine athletic 
fellow tending his crippled spouse. The quiver- 
ing muscles of his lower limbs, plainly outlined 
through the thin texture of his clothes, suggested 
to me that he was probably a skilled garrochista. 
He looked as if he was capable of turning over 
many a lively two-year-old at the tentaderos; and 
as a matter of fadt, he turned out to be quite an 
authority on bulls, an adept in the use of Jerga, 
the slang of the toreros, and full of information 
in regard to his favourite breed of animals — 
El raso del Portillo, a herd which is pastured in 
the broken dehesas about Valladolid. 

"The best fighting bulls come from Anda- 
lucia," he said, " but the oldest breed is that 
of Portillo." 

Valladolid was his native city, and he told 
me fine tales of the tentaderos, or trials of 
young bulls, in which he had taken an adtive 
part. 

At Gallur I observed some enormous beetles 
revelling among the white acacia blossoms, and 
a congregation of sober, white-breasted martins 
on the housetops. Then, approaching Luceni, 
I heard a nightingale's mellow gurgle in the 



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108 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

reeds, the poignancy of his plaintive "jug-jug" 
entirely lost in the dazzling sunshine. 

The poet Espronceda, one of the most musical 
of Spanish writers, has a lovely sonnet to the 
nightingale, beginning — 

" Canta en la noche, canta en la manana, 
RuiseSor, en el bosque sus araores, 
Canta, que llorara cuando td llores 
£1 alba perlas en la flor temprana." 

The Luceni nightingale sang so sweetly that 
he might have been the reincarnation of Espron- 
ceda. He was an old bird, and had had much 
experience, for they say that old nightingales 
sing the sweetest. 

The colours of the country having now become 
cold and monotonous, my eyes seized greedily 
upon the red parasol of a little girl who was 
standing on the platform at Luceni nursing a 
pretty nene. We are told that red is a whole- 
some colour, a mental tonic, and so I think it is. 
At any rate, I felt better for the brightness of 
that parasol. 

Here at Luceni an amusing scene occurred. 
A stout person of some forty summers (though 
I should have been the last to have admitted 
to her that I considered her more than twenty- 
five) was waiting on the platform for the train. 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN IO9 

When we arrived, another equally stout female, 
a veritable moza de cdntaro, put her head out of 
the window of the next carriage and waved a 
salutation. The train drew up; 

" Ah ! " said the first, with an accent of horror. 

" No, no, sister," protested the second, point- 
ing to a man in the corner, " you can just stow 
your 'Ah? because I can assure you that during 
five hours of travel with this gentleman, whom 
I have not the honour of knowing, he has not 
committed the slightest indiscretion." 

But a sister's heart is not always a running 
stream of clear and pure tenderness, as the sub- 
sequent remark of the first stout female amply 
proved. 

" Well, well," she said, with a sigh in which 
all her envy seemed to disappear, " it strikes 
me as being an extraordinary thing that there 
should be such imbecile fellows in the world." 

Beyond Pedrola, immortalised by Cervantes, 
I noticed the familiar wild thyme and a bright 
blue orchis, decking the railway embankment. 
We were in the heart of Aragon ; the costume 
of the men giving us a distindl confirmation of 
that fact, especially the black and uncomfortably 
hot kerchief swathed around the head. In the 
green wheatfields white butterflies were sporting, 



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IIO IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

even as they fluttered in the fields over which 
our unforgotten boyhood threw an indescribably 
beautiful glamour. 

To the north of these green patches of fertility 
frowned a range of ugly, desolate hills, terrible 
and tragic even in the gleam of the sun. The 
houses that here and there studded those melan- 
choly heights seemed to be specially designed 
for the romancer. In the middle ages the 
novelist did not look to his word-painting ; he 
did not examine the landscape with an analytical 
eye. Cervantes, for instance, took it for granted 
that his readers knew their country, and that 
they possessed the ability to conjure up mental 
images of the scenery in which figured his 
immortal madman. But, I may safely say, that 
if he had filled his pages with William Black's 
beautiful detail, we should have found his de- 
scriptions of Spanish landscape as applicable 
and true to the present as to the fourteenth and 
fifteenth centuries. Gazing at the plain, and 
its bleak hills, I reflected that if Don Quixote 
were to come tearing over the wheatfields, lance 
at rest, he would hardly cause surprise; so 
mediaeval, so undisturbed seemed the country- 
side. There, in the patio of one of those strange 
casas on the crests of the hills, he still probably 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN III 

mops his heated forehead, lingering over a 
goblet of wine and water, and little ghostly 
children perhaps still point and jeer at the noble 
Knight of La Mancha. 

Leaving Alagon, these eastern hills lining the 
Ebro became still more weird and wonderful in 
their gruesome nakedness. They are nightmare 
heights, like those one slides down during the 
most awful dreams ; frightful wastes, such as 
the morbid fancy of Dante would have peopled 
with lost souls ; sterile, strange, and ghastly 
elevations, beautiful only after sunset, when 
compassionate evening swoops down and wraps 
them in intangible raiment, tinctured with colour 
more beautiful than ever issued from the vats 
of Tyre, 

To the west, however, I descried other hills, 
blue and tender in the distance. On the inter, 
vening alluvial lands, horses were drawing the 
ploughs and harrows of the peasants, teams of 
oxen becoming less frequent the nearer we get 
to the capital of Aragon. What a pleasure it 
would have been to have alighted to make 
enquiries about the great bustard, — the abu- 
tarda. Sensational accounts of this big game 
bird, so common in Andalucia, had made me 
long to see a bandada de barbones. This, however, 



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112 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

is a felicity still in store, and I do not yet know 
whether the great bustard is to be seen in the 
plains of Aragon. 

At the base of certain mud-coloured cliffs I 
saw a little town of exa&ly the same hue as its 
surroundings, endeavouring to hide itself like a 
hare in the bracken, or a partridge in the stubble. 
I shuddered when I thought of the uneventful, 
cheerless, squalid lives of its inhabitants. I also 
thought of. the vanished villages, over whose 
sites we had doubtless passed that morning, 
and smiled when I remembered the towns still 
sleeping quiet in the unquarried stone, wonder- 
ing whether any city that may hereafter arise in 
Spain will prove more interesting than Zaragoza 
— grand old Zaragoza— whose pinnacles, temple 
domes, and Moorish towers, rose solemnly before 
me as we crossed the Ebro once more. 



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XII 

ZARAGOZA 

I 

In the fierce glare of the afternoon 9iin I made 
my way to the river Ebro. The dust of Zara- 
goza is insufferable at all seasons, but at this 
time it was especially unbearable. But the broad 
stream shone like a vision, and cool airs rose 
therefrom and fanned my brow. I loitered long 
on the pebbly shore, contemplating the Moorish 
masonry of the antique water walls, now fast 
falling into decay. Several men were fishing in 
the turbid stream, investing the scene with life 
and colour. A few labourers were busy among 
some heaps of broken brick, and beyond these 
men, there were some little children playing on 
a strip of green grass. I sat down and began 
to think of the mutations of empire, and of the 
unsatisfactory brevity of life. I thought of the 
Caliph Almuctaman of Zaragoza and of his 
friend Rodrigo Diaz, El Cid Campeador, who 



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114 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

so valiantly defended this city against Alfabig, 
the Caliph of Denia. In this way I passed 
an agreeable half-hour. I was just about to rise 
and return to the hotel when I heard someone 
approaching my little turf-clad hillock. Looking 
round I beheld three women advancing across a 
patch of shingle. One was very old, — weighed 
down by the weight of at least ninety winters. 
Her thin white locks had succumbed to the 
attacks of the strong wind, and were blown 
about her withered face in picturesque disarray. 
The contrast between the tawny hue of her 
features and the snowy beauty of her hair was 
very striking. A pair of brilliant black eyes, 
flashing in shadowy caverns, at once took my 
gaze and held it. The breeze was likewise 
busy with her rusty tattered frock, and scarlet 
shawl. Her two companions were both very 
young and of the ordinary opera, or gitana, 
type of loveliness. Their dark greasy curls 
were plastered low down on their brown fore- 
heads, great gold earrings dangling beneath 
the lowest love-lock, almost touching their 
shoulders. Their somewhat sensual faces wore 
a stereotyped smile, which served to display 
the incomparable whiteness of the teeth of the 
'Zincali. 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN II5 

" Buenos dias, hijo mio" said the old gypsy with 
the peculiar accent of her people, " what are you 
doing here by the side of my len?" 

"Muy buenos, gitanilla" I answered, "what 
should I be doing but taking the sun ? " 

"The kan, the kan" she cried, holding up 
her scranny right arm, on which the blue veins 
showed like cords amidst the freckles. "The 
ban, giving life and strength to all young and 
growing things. But I am old, old, old; an 
old withered woman of the Calls. Ay de mil 
Ay de mil Soon comes the rack — the endless 
sleep!" 

The two girls giggled behind her back, and I 
held my peace, not knowing what to say. 

" I am old," she continued, her quavering 
voice thrilling with extraordinary passion, " I 
am indeed old, and these chicas are my great- 
grandchildren. I had otor hijos, some of them 
were stabbed, some of them are with the Fla- 
mencos. But my spirit is still young ; I am 
still a child playing by the Ebro." 

This strange prelude was sufficient to rouse 

my interest, more particularly when I saw two 

great tears rise in her still beautiful eyes — eyes 

which in themselves were enough evidence of 

the undying youth of her soul. 

1 — 2 



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Il6 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

" Come, cheer up, mother," I rejoined, " our 
souls are always young." 

"Do you think so, my son?" she asked, 
huskily, laying one hand upon my arm and 
looking straight into my face. " Do you in 
truth think so ? " 

" Yes," I answered, " I do think so." 

"Bucno" she continued, "but I am myself 
doubtful about the dwelling after death. I am 
afraid it may be very damp and cold, and there- 
fore I am sticking on to the old her in this faros 
as long as ever I can. But when I see the 
children playing in the sun, among the flowers 
of spring, my heart beats more quickly, and I 
wonder whether I shall ever be a child again, 
to play games with my companions who have 
been brave, and have gone before. Ay de mi/ 
How sweet the world is, and how sweet is 
youth ! — see how the pant of the len gleams in 
the sun. See, see! he's got a macho; look, 
look ! " 

She pointed to a man on the shore who was 
drawing a fish from the water. She was much 
excited and fairly screamed with delight. 

" Poor old creature!" I muttered in English. 
" </ Qui es eso ? " she shrilled. " </ V. no es 
Catalan ? " 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 117 

" No, gitanilla," I responded, "/Gracias d Dios, 
yo soy Ingles / " 

"/ InglSs ! " she cried. " From the land of the 
Gorgios ? You are not a Busno ? Tell me, then, 
O tell me, where is he ? " 

" Of whom do you speak, mother ? " I asked. 

"Of my friend the great Englishman — the 
strong man, the man of many tongues — the 
lion-hearted Englishman, who was brave as ten 
men ; who was even as my brother. Of whom 
else should I speak ? " 

" Pardon her," broke in one of the girls, " she 
is sometimes mad, and when she is mad she 
speaks calo to strangers. Excuse her, sir, and 
let me tell you La Buenaventura, I only ask dies 
cintimos" 

"/Diez centimos/" I laughed. "Quieres diez 
cintimos, para echarme tus patranas 9 " 

Hereupon the ancient dame interfered. 

" Mad ! " she shrieked, in a paroxysm of un- 
governable fury, shaking herself loose from the 
girls' supporting arms. " Who says I am mad ? 
That is the way with the young — and a nice 
way it is, too. Shelve the grandfather and the 
grandmother — put them away in the corner — 
they are old — no use any more. But can't 
we, don't we feel just as they feel ? Only our 



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Il8 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

joints don't work, miserable creatures that we 
are! As for his fortune, I will tell the baki. 
It is written all over and about him. It is 
shining all around him, but you cannot see it, 
you daughters of goats ; nor can he see it, but 
I can see it. Old eyes can see farther into the 
Strange Land than young eyes, because old 
people are nearer to it." 

" Son patranas" I said, laughing. 

"No son pair anas ^ bum mozo" she replied, 
gravely, " sino verdades, y mds verdades que ese sol 
tan claro y tan hermoso que ahora estd brillando / " 

" Excuse her, sir ; her mind wanders," mur- 
mured the other girl, apologetically. " We bring 
her down here every day when there is sun. 
We must now leave your Worship; we must 
return to the gitaneria" 

But the old woman was not to be quieted. 
" He came to our ker" she shouted, " the 
snowy-haired Gorgio: he ate out of our pot 
in the beautiful chestnut woods, and in the 
dusky chaparrals, when the smoke rose straight 
up to the frosty sky, and the sharp evening 
wind was keen in our nostrils. He said sweet, 
kind things to his brethren the Calls. He wad 
a pal to my ro 9 to my dear ro 9 who could run 
with the marvellous speed of a partridge, who 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 19 

could use the cachas better than any other man ; 
whose head was curly as a poodle's, and whose 
strength was that of ten men. Ah ! that good 
friend who looked at us with great, compas- 
sionate eyes, and read to us out of a sacred 
book many strange tales of the land of my 
fathers ; tales of Sebleko. Ay de mi—chachipe — 
chachipi/" 

This long string of reminiscences did not lack 
a semblance of coherence, and it touched me by 
reason of the old gypsy's emotion. 

"Who was this man, little mother?" I en- 
quired. 

" Don Jorge, Don Jorge ! " she eagerly replied. 
" Did you know him ? Have you news of him ? 
Everybody knew him in these parts — that is to 
say, all my people knew him ; for he loved 
them, and I worshipped him, though he said 
that he had not the blood of Egypt. But 
there, there, you are but a babe, you cannot 
have known him. What do I say? He will 
now be dead, or very old — very, very old, like 
me!" 

" Was his name Don Jorge Borrow ? " I asked. 

" It was Don Jorge," she said, stamping her 
foot angrily, "I never heard any other name. 
He must have had the true crroU — the pure 



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120 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

black blood in his veins. He spake our tongue. 
He was no half-caste — no Flamenco." 

" You evidently knew him well," I said. 

" Very well," she continued, " and so did my 
ro 9 my good husband — he with the ojos escritos, 
full of strange signs of Egypt. Ay de mi, he had 
a lovely aquia /" 

" Don Jorge has been gathered to his fathers 
this many a year," I said. " Speak of him again; 
gitanilla — tell me more of him." 

But I had spoken too abruptly. She was 
for the moment like one stunned. She would 
say no more about her old friend. Her tooth- 
less jaws became set with a surprising firmness, 
and she began to regard me with a gaze that 
was indescribably strange, 

" Take no heed of her, she is mad," whis- 
pered one of the girls; "but she is quite 
harmless." 

"Away with thee and thy whispering," 
shrieked the great-grandmother. " I know all 
that you say and all that you would say. You 
tell La Buenaventura/ You! You know that 
we shall eat menudos de gallina to-day — that is all 
you know. At my age the people of Egypt know 
many things. I will tell this young Gorgio the 
bahi myself. I will tell him not only what 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 121 

will befall him, but what has already befallen 
him." 

Thus saying, she seized my hand, and by some 
weird powers of cheiromancy she was able to 
sketch briefly, but graphically, the story of an 
unequal and somewhat unsatisfactory life. Then 
she proceeded to map out a future for me which 
was, to say the least of it, most interesting. I 
am incredulous in such matters, and her words 
failed to convince me of any real ability to pro- 
phecy. Nevertheless, I was forced to admit 
that what she said was fraught with wisdom. 

" Thou art ambitious," she muttered. "Women 
like such men, their blood is reddened with more 
iron than exists in that of the ordinary indi- 
vidual. Their hearts, too, have more heat. To 
grow powerful and wealthy you must play a 
bold game. Gold is tested by men — men are 
tested by gold. Do not a<5t the bird-catcher 
among your fellows — the bird-catcher, with his 
ever-tinkling cencerro, and his lantern that puts 
the larks into such a fright that they may be 
picked up like potatoes. You look as proud in 
your clothes as a newly-moulted bird in autumn, 
but who would hold up his head if he could hear 
all that his friends say about him ; or who could 
hold up his head if his friends heard all that 



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122 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

he says about them? Beware of the querela* 
nasela. Thou feelest the barban on thy face, 
but know thou this — there is more in the wind 
than thou wottest of! There, I have told thee 
la bahi / Vaya — vaya / I go back to my ker." 

These were her concluding words as she 
turned away, a strangely impressive figure 
against the brightness of the river, and the 
silvery sheen of ths sunlit poplars. I crossed 
the palms of both girls with pesetas, and sat 
down again in an atmosphere of mystery. 

Pan had not piped to me from the reeds of 
the Ebro, but the enigmas of the world had 
been brought before my mind with renewed 
and tremendous insistence. A nightingale in 
the lombardos began to tell me many strange 
things about ancient peoples, buried faiths, and 
beautiful loves of old time, as the three women 
slowly passed the marshy place where the bull-, 
frogs were croaking, and crossing the heaps of 
refuse, gained their homeward path. A boy who 
had been fishing wished me a very good after- 
noon, as he picked his way through the mud- 
stained pebbles in his thin alpargatas. A carter 
came and tipped a load of refuse somewhere 
behind me — a volley of oaths, directed at a 
patient mule, contaminating the pure air. Bugles 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 23 

sounded from the great rambling barracks across 
the wide stretch of water, and bells began to 
toll in the city — boom, boom, ding,, ding, clang, 
clang — as if the world was coming to an end, 
and the careful priests were anxious to apprise 
everybody of the fa<5l. But I sat on by the 
river, the kindly, withered face of the old gitana 
filling my thoughts, the sunny landscape still 
seeming to possess her antique figure. 



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XIII 
ZARAGOZA 

II 

(A Reminiscence) 

It was the nth October, 1890. I was standing 
on Pamplona's one and only railway platform. 
The sleepy train crawled into the station, and 
there was a mad rush of people for the carriages. 
In they swarmed — priests, friars, soldiers, and 
scores oipaisanos — shouting, laughing, swearing, 
groaning, and, I regret to add, expectorating. 

It was my lot to occupy a very dusty first- 
class compartment. But in its seclusion I was 
moderately comfortable, being clear of the dirty, 
confused, hustling hordes who had taken posses- 
sion of the remaining portion of the train. In a 
corner of the coche there was a young man of 
some thirty summers, slight as a reed, with 
great luminous black eyes, and pointed Velaz- 
quez beard. I saluted him on entering, as the 
custom is, and very soon we were engaged in 
earnest conversation, discussing the fate of a 
luckless American lady, who, from a very proper 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 25 

motive of curiosity, had taken second-class cir- 
cular tickets at Irun, as she and her pretty little 
daughter " wanted so much to see the country 
and the real people." In a second-class car- 
riage, that stifling 0<5lober day, she certainly 
did see the people, and despite the discomforts 
of the journey, she obstinately refused to change 
her quarters. 

Between Pamplona and Castejon there is a 
stretch of fine agricultural country, at this season 
very dry and desolate, the prevailing hue being 
the reddish brown of the bare earth. This was 
now almost burnt to a cinder. Here and there, 
however, I noticed magnificent verdurous oases, 
where the bright green vines crept up the hill- 
side to meet the wonderful azure of the Spanish 
sky. Whilst gazing on one of these islands of 
greenery, in one of those half-melancholy, half- 
joyful moods in which a man travelling alone so 
often finds himself, I was startled by a question 
from my Catalan friend in the corner. He had 
told me that he was a native of Barcelona, and 
that he was a UttiraUur. 

" Perhaps you are a student ?" he asked, his 
sallow face all aflame. " Do you believe in 
creation out of nothing ? " 

41 1 cannot grasp the idea," I replied. 



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126 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

11 How could the universe be created out of 
nothing but space?" he cried, ignoring my. 
answer. 

" That I know not, senor. I am no logician, 
and by no means argumentative." 

"But look here/' he said, coming a little 
nearer, "we two are alone together, so let us 
be frank with each other — speak our real 
thoughts." 

" Well, I am with you," I responded. " Let 
me 'tell you that, to my mind, creation is not 
confined to matter. Mind has its great crea- 
tions, and they exist only in the mind." 

" Now we are progressing, my worthy Eng- 
lishman," said the Catalan; "that is the true 
note. Don Quixote, I suppose, is a real crea- 
tion, because he exists in your imagination, 
Cervantes having planted him there ? " 

" Precisely." 

" Then the leit-motif ot this or that opera ; the 
historical pictures of Pradilla and Plasencia, 
the portraits of Madrazo, the landscapes of 
Hoes and Vayreda — all these, I suppose, are 
real creations?" 

" Yes, in my opinion, they are real creations," 
I said, feeling that I was getting a little beyond 
my depth. "But they are scarcely creations 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 27 

out of nothing. Music I consider to be a 
creation out of nothing, but the works of your 
most eminent painters cannot be thus de- 
scribed. They are the presentments of people, 
things and scenes that have had, or now have, 
an existence.' 1 

" Pardon me," shouted the Catalan, " they 
most certainly are creations out of nothing. 
Take Pradilla's masterpiece. That is now un 
fait accompli. History suggested it, but history 
did not create it. That pidture is now a living 
fadt, a tangible idea, which previously had no 
existence." 

" Do not try to draw me into an argument," 
I said, feebly ; " these matters are too deep for 
one with my limited understanding." 

" No, senor, we will not be disputatious," he 
continued, " for I also am neither philosopher, 
logician, nor metaphysician. Where the splendid 
Plato failed, why should we small flies venture 
to singe our wings ? No, what I want to get at 
is this : Do you believe that the creative efforts 
of man can become more than ideas without the 
assistance of matter already in existence ? " 

" I do not." 

" Not even the best, the most spiritual work 
of the great musicians ? " 



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128 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

" No ; because earthly scenes, earthly desires, 
loves, aspirations, and recolle&ions suggested 
the music." 

" Then we are in harmony," — he shouted, "in 
perfetf accord; therefore let us remain silent 
and think of the potentialities of our lives." 

I was very much astonished at all this, but I 
managed not to manifest any surprise. We 
were advancing into the flat country. Down 
on the hazy horizon, the distant Pyrenees, and 
the mountains of Navarra, were decking them- 
selves in dim blue raiment. Despite the aridity 
and barrenness, a wonderful beauty hung over 
this brown and dusty land — the loveliness of 
clear, dry air, whose changing hues are almost 
jewel-like in character. 

The central tableland of Spain is pra<5tically 
disafforested. Almost every inch of land in the 
wine and corn distridls appears to be grubbed 
up, and turned over. A sort of Department of 
Woods and Forests is supposed to exist, the 
officials being known as " Ingenieros de Montes" 
But these gentlemen do not trouble themselves 
to see to the planting of trees on the waste 
places of the earth. If they did, the blessing 
of a little more humidity would come, perhaps, 
to this tierra calients. Hence it is that the few 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 29 

poplars to be seen on the banks of the rivers 
make a fine effect in the display of colour. In 
autumn their leaves are intensely yellow, and 
they show up splendidly against the prevailing v 
browns and blues ; yet they do not altogether 
satisfy an English eye, accustomed to the 
glorious leafage of Britain. In Roman, and in 
Gothic times, the central part of Spain had a 
wealth of woods and coppices, equal to those 
which flourish in the Basque provinces to-day; 
and doubtless the climate of this portion of 
the country was then more agreeable than it is 
at present. 

Approaching Garinoain, the charming little 
town appeared to be almost faint and droop- 
ing in the heat. Set like a gem in a parched 
wilderness of ploughed land and stubble, this 
poblacion struck me as being remarkably pictu- 
resque. Its gardens gave delightful glimpses of 
green leaves, suggesting coolness and all man- 
ner of luscious fruit ; only suggestions, however, 
for the inhabitants who crowded the platform 
seemed to be perspiring to death. A worthy 
Navarrese, whom I addressed on the subject, 
assured me that the time to see Garinoain 
is the primavera — the primavera with its ex- 
panses of green wheat, and fresh vine leaves, 



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I30 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

touched here and there with flames of lovely 
flowers. 

Just before sunset I took advantage of a 
stop at one of the larger stations to visit the 
American lady and her daughter. Madame had 
had the misfortune to get sandwiched between 
two extremely fat priests, with unshaven chins. 
Her daughter sat vis*&-vis with her. The poor 
child was in tears. I asked both ladies to alight 
and promenade on the platform, but Madame 
refused. Her daughter, however, was only too 
glad to get a breath of fresh air. When I took 
little Lucy back to the stuffy carriage the tears 
had all dried. Madame flashed a look of grati- 
tude. Her face, which formerly displayed a 
really good complexion, was now quite spoilt. 
It was of a uniform deep crimson, and the lady 
being stout, the perspiration was running down 
her cheeks in streams. She really presented a 
pitiable spectacle. The horrors of that journey — 
the garlicky atmosphere, the fumes of strong 
cigarettes, the buzz of guttural voices — were 
almost enough to have conquered the most 
obstinate, but she refused to admit that she 
was wrong in her selection of a carriage, and 
declined to be conquered. I therefore left her 
to complete her penance. 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 131 

The train had now moved off again. The 
sunlight, streaming in the windows of our car- 
riage, was touching the trembling birches with 
a sudden flood of gold. High overhead, the 
scarlet and crimson banners of the evening 
announced the coming of the first bright star. 
Shafts of brilliance pierced through the rosy 
clouds to the ever-darkening blue above. Lower, 
and yet lower, sank the sun; the great globe 
quivering in its descent, till at last its rim 
touched the extremity of the plain, and, poising 
a moment upon the horizon like an enormous 
wheel, seemed to run along the land with the 
train. Then the huge ball began slowly to dis- 
appear ; inch by inch the light sank behind the 
land ; lower — lower yet — until the last thread 
of golden splendour vanished. Dim grey smoke 
rose from distant villages, lying in the vast sea 
of palpitating purple, silent save for the bark 
of the watch-dog warning the beggars from the 
farms. Fleecy mists rose from the silent marshes. 
An owl flew past ; a bat fluttered aimlessly along 
in the growing dusk. A human voice was heard 
far off in a belt of trees, singing the old sweet 
song of love— the love that never changes in the 
heart of man, but keeps its place through the 
centuries: that voice pierced my soul 1 

K — 2 



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A 



132 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

I looked at my companion. The Catalan 
philosopher seemed to have stolen some of the 
fire of the sunset, and drawn it into his eyes. 
They sparkled with an unearthly glitter, beauti- 
ful to behold. His soul was swimming in them, 
almost bursting the slender bonds of the flesh. 
He had evidently been watching my face, where 
I am too often apt to show my emotions. He 
held out his hand. 

" I know what you are thinking," he said, 
huskily. 

" The sunsets of Spain are lovely," I replied, 
in my stilted English manner. 

"Yes, but your thoughts ran deeper than 
that shallow phrase." "Ah, my dear fellow," 
he continued, "your heart is uttering a song 
of praise for the wonderful loveliness of the 
world." 

I pressed his hand warmly, and in pleasant 
converse we travelled down into a land of night 
and peace, lit only by the mysterious beauty of 
the silent stars. 

It was quite dark when we entered the pro- 
vince of Aragon. Passing Tudela, my com- 
^ panion assured me that Rabbi Benjamin was 

an impostor. 

" He pretended to have discovered the tomb 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 33 

of the prophet Ezekiel," said the Catalan, "un 
cuento para ninos" 

At half-past ten we crawled into Zaragoza, 
having been just eight hours on the way from 
Pamplona, a distance of only 181 kilometres; 
and here my Catalan friend said farewell. 

The landlady of the Fonda de la Perla had 

warned Madame V , the American lady, 

that the hotels at Zaragoza were all full. For 
my own part, the chance of having to spend 
the night on a couple of chairs had no terrors, 
but I shuddered at the thought of the dismal 
prospect before the two ladies. The frightful 
bustle on the platform was not reassuring, and 
I began to fear that the worst predictions of 
our Pamplona hostess were about to be realised. 
And verified they were to the utmost, as we 
found out to our cost. 

Madame V had found a cavalier in the 

shape of a polite apothecary from Betelu, in the 
mountains of Tolosa. This man had travelled 
down in the same carriage with her, and had 
helped to make the journey less disagreeable by 
discussing all manner of subjects, Madame 
V being able to speak Spanish. 

He and I made all speed to secure seats in the 
omnibus— sent as a matter of form by the pro- 



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134 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

prietor of the Fonda de Europa. On arriving 
at the hotel, the proprietor calmly told us there 
were no beds to be had in any of the fondas ; 
that people were sleeping in the saloons, every 
chair being appropriated, and that the only habi- 
taciones he knew to be vacant were to be found in 
the Calle San Lorenzo, where the cochtro was 
instructed to leave us with the compliments of 
his master. This landlord was an Italian, and 
very polite. 

"The rooms are good," he said, "and the 
people of the house eminently respectable. You 
will be well disposed there, I can assure you, and 
so good-night. Adios — Adtos" 

I noticed a sly twinkle in the apothecary's eye 
as the omnibus drew up at the corner of the 
ancient Plaza de San Lorenzo, before a massive 
Moorish door of wrought-iron, dark and forbid- 
ding, and immensely strong. After much bang- 
ing and bawling, a section of this door opened 
inwards, disclosing a haggard female standing 
in a pitch-black courtyard, faintly illumined by 
the tallow dip that she held in her hand. A 
bouquet of odours saluted us, to describe which 
would be impossible; for they are peculiar to 
the Calle San Lorenzo. If I recollect rightly, 
we threaded a tortuous passage, and then 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 35 

descended, by some stone steps, to a long corri- 
dor, passing through this into a sort of kitchen, 
where another woman was peeling onions. 

Here we left the two ladies with the old dame, 
and proceeded to examine the corridor. It was 
lined with tiny alcoves, each curtained with the 
blue and white print of draught-board check, 
that was once so popular among poor people in 
Great Britain. I felt that we were in a sort of 
prison. The old apothecary was delighted. He 
pointed out the probability of the alcoves having 
once been the sleeping-places of slaves, ap- 
pertaining to the house of some noble who 
flourished in the time of the Banu Hud dynasty. 
He suggested that perhaps they were the cells 
in which Moorish monarchs had formerly placed 
their prisoners. The air in this corridor was 
horrible, almost foetid. Each alcove contained 
a sleeper, and each sleeper was snoring. The 
absence of oxygen had made the poor occupants 
so torpid, that they were entirely oblivious of 
the noise we made. A chorus of bull-frogs was 
nothing to the deep diapason of these slum- 
berers. It was a truly dreadful situation. 

" Where are the rooms which you propose to 
give us ? " I asked, pathetically. 

The wrinkled hag smiled reassuringly. 



/" 



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I36 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

" Rest content," she purred. Your Worships 
shall be well bestowed." 

I did not like her mischievous and thievish 
look, but followed the rest when she led the way 
out of the carbonic acid gas of the corridor into 
a slightly purer air. With great aplomb she threw 
open the door of a crypt-like bedroom, where the 
faint odour of a cesspool was distinctly noticeable 
to my keen sense of smell. 

"There," — she said, "there is an excellent 
habitation for Your Worships ; those camas are 
entirely at your disposition, my good huispedes." 

Madame V turned pale. The Basque from 

Beteltj shook his head, and I, unable to contain 
myself, burst into loud laughter. 

" We cannot all sleep here," said the apothe- 
cary. 

" Why not ? " cried the wrinkled old woman, 
shrilly, " is the place not good enough for you ? 
Caramba I I very nearly secured an Archbishop 
as a lodger to-day. You ought to be thankful 
for a roof over your heads at a time like this." 

" But, my good woman," pleaded the Basque, 
" the customs of English people are so different 
from " 

She did not allow him time to finish the 
sentence. 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 37 

" Good gracious ! " she exclaimed, in real sur- 
prise and anger, " do you mean to say you can't 
all sleep here, as comfortably as possible ? There 

is the young gentleman and his (a pause) — 

mother ; and his sister ; and you, sir, old enough 
to be his grandfather, and who ought to have 
more sense than you have." 

Whereupon the good apothecary began to 
rattle off excellent Castilian at the rate of a 
hundred and fifty words a minute. The coach- 
man, who had been waiting for his fare, had 
followed us into the bedroom, and he assured 
us that no other accommodation was to be had 
anywhere in the city. I therefore said that we 
men would give up the room to the two ladies, 
return to the fonda with the cochero, and find a 
corner somewhere. But the woman of the house 
became highly indignant, and even threatening, 
on learning the nature of this proposition. 

" Here are four beds," she protested, " and 
they must be occupied. If you two men do 
not sleep in this house, I shall reserve the right 
to put other people in the room." 

"We will pay you what you like," I said, 
angrily, "only we must ask you to be good 
enough to allow these two ladies to remain 
here alone." 



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I38 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

Somewhat mollified, the woman began to 
grumble about the iniquity of leaving beds un- 
occupied when there was such need of them. 

" What a shame it is," she continued, " that 
two such agreeable gentlemen should have to 
go out into the night, at such an hour." 

" Our minds are made up," I said, " and you 
will do your best to make our friends comfort- 
able." 

We were bidding the ladies good-night when 
Madame V— suddenly burst into tears. Her 
daughter, too, broke down. The poor child 
entreated us to take her out of the house, and 
the mother implored us not to leave them there 
alone. 

"Take us anywhere — anywhere," she mur- 
mured. " We shall die of fright if we remain 
here ; we dare not stay without you." 

The situation was becoming grave. The old 
landlady, catching the drift of our conversation, 
imagined that discredit was being thrown on her 
" four beautiful beds." 

I turned to the coachman, gave him a dollar, 
and asked him if he would drive me to some 
other place, so that I might make more enquiries 
about rooms ; but he flatly refused to take me a 
yard. 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 39 

"The streets are obscure," he cried, "and 
there are mala gente about." 

So I dismissed him with a threat, and after a 
word to my friends, I Went out into the street. 
The narrow Calle San Lorenzo was pitch dark. 
The municipality had used up all the gas in the 
illuminations, in honour of the twenty-five pre- 
lates attending the Catholic Congress. I stumbled 
on through several narrow streets, in hopes of 
chancing upon some friendly light, betokening 
at least shelter within. But every window was 
black, and the city was almost silent. I began 
to retrace my steps, with the determination to 
insist upon the ladies taking up their quarters in 
the vacant bedroom, and to mount guard, with 
the apothecary, outside the door. Hearing some- 
one approaching, I paused. The clash of a sabre 
echoed in the silence. The man was an officer. 
I saluted him, and implored him to help us. He 
was almost intoxicated, nevertheless his polite- 
ness did not desert him. 

" The lady and child may have my room," he 
said. " I shall be glad to be of service." 

But, under the circumstances, to accept his 
hospitality was impossible. I hurried back. By 
the time I arrived at our prison the ladies were 
almost in hysterics. When I proposed having 



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140 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

chairs placed outside the door of the bedroom, 
the landlady would not hear of such a thing. 

" The people sleeping in the corridor would 
not like it," she protested; "there might be a 
row." 

" If you leave us again/ 1 said Madame V , 

" I shall die. I am sure we are in a den of 
thieves and murderers. Let us all go into the 
bedroom and sit down for the night." 

We entered the habitation de dormir. The faint 
smell, rising from a mysterious cesspool some- 
where in unknown depths, came in at the window 
I threw open. In the majority of old Spanish 
houses there is a death-trap of a cesspool, and, 
even when this is absent, there is some other 
institution equally offensive. The municipalities 
pay more attention to the eredlion of statues, 
and unnecessary buildings, than to the sanitary 
economy of their cities. 

We sat down on the beds and looked at each 
other. The poor little girl was so tired that 
she immediately put her head on her mother's 

shoulder, and fell asleep. Madame V was 

also exhausted. 

I carefully examined the room. There was a 
little alcove in one corner, full of mattrasses. 
This seemed to offer some privacy. Once more 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN I4I 

I issued forth into the corridor to seek the land- 
lady. I begged her to remove the mattrasses, 
and to improvise a curtain. At first she was 
obstinate, but a douceur made her compliant. 
Thereupon a bed was made in the alcoba, and 
a curtain was nailed up before it. Into this 
friendly shelter the ladies retreated, bubbling 
over with suppressed laughter, whilst we left 
the room to examine the contents of the larder, 
where we found absolutely nothing but onions. 
As the bread did not come till morning, we had 
all to retire to bed quite supperless. 

After a decent interval we returned to the 
habitation de dormir, and tip-toed to the beds 
farthest removed from the recess. 

We all had a sense of humour, and the situa- 
tion was really irresistibly comic. The Basque 
apothecary's Christian name was Placido. Never 
was a word so wrongly bestowed ! He was an 
excitable chatterbox, carrying on a whispered 
conversation whilst undressing. 

"You know these delicate situations better 
than I 9 " he said, evidently taking me for a sort 
of Lawrence Sterne, " and therefore I ask you 
this: Of how much clothing do you think it 
advisable to divest oneself? " 

To this 1 signalled an answer, but being 



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142 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

unable to grasp my meaning, he repeated the 
question in a louder voice. Whereat there was 
a sound of musical laughter from the alcove. 
Paying no heed to this, he carefully undressed, 
and went to sleep quite unconcernedly. I lay 
down on the bed, placing my revolver under the 
pillow. This was in the days when I thought 
revolvers were necessary in Spain. I do not 
carry one now. Plicido soon began to snore ; 
the noise he made being a sort of basso obligate 
to the corridor chorus, dimly heard through the 
thick oaken door. It was a dismal sound, enough 
to have aroused the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus. 

Madame V declared she was almost terrified, 

but I know that she did little else but laugh, 
until the mosquitoes began to assert themselves. 
We two carried on a conversation in quite loud 
tones ; for Pl£cido was at last perfectly placid, 
and slept on undisturbed by our laughter. 

I was just settling down to sleep myself, when 
all at once I heard a dreadful scratching on the 
wall-paper, which was puffed out by the damp. 
It was the march of an army of insects. In 
order to breathe even moderately fresh air that 
stifling night, it was necessary to have the 
window open. Naturally enough the mosquitoes 
entered, their " ping, ping " being heard every 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 43 

instant. They alighted on my nose, reminding 
me of that portion of Mercutio's speech where 
he tells us of Queen Mab— 

" Drawn with a team of little atomies 
Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep. 
Her waggoner, a small grey-coated gnat, 
Not half so big as. a round little worm 
Prick'd from the lazy finger of a maid." 

At that time, mosquitoes had a special liking 
for my blood, for I had not then contracted the 
habit of smoking regularly. They came at me 
in clouds, but I fought them blindly, using a 
damp towel as an engine of battery. They, at 
least, were enemies that I knew. But at last 
some great mysterious creatures simultaneously 
dropped on my bed from the ceiling — one or two 
falling on my face. This was too much for flesh 
and blood to submit to. I leaped out of bed, 
struck a light, and began the work of destruc- 
tion. In that battle, I should not care to say 
how many insedls perished. 

" Are they mosquitoes ? " asked a laughing 
voice. " How you alarmed us ! We thought a 
robber was in the room." 

The head of Madame V was obtruding 

from the curtains. The mention of the chinchas 
was enough to send her almost distracted. No 



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144 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

sooner had I told her of their presence than she 
found several in the alcove. All night long she 
was battling with the enemy. 

My candle was kept lit, with the result that 
many strayed revellers peeped in at us through 
the thick iron bars of the open window. One 
young man made feeble jokes about the apothe- 
cary, who was lying with his mouth wide open : 
he finally threw in a bit of charcoal, which, 
hitting Plfcido on the forehead, effectually 
roused him. 

In the morning I was awakened by a fearful 
commotion in the bedroom. Utterly worn out 
by such an exhausting vigilia, I had overslept 
myself. The apothecary had already risen, and 
had withdrawn from the apartment. Madame 

V was also astir. There I beheld her, seated 

on a chair in the middle of the room, the land- 
lady applying a ravr onion to some dozen wounds 
on her forehead. The tears were streaming down 
her cheeks, not from the application of the 
onion alone, but partially from shame at the 
humiliating spectacle she presented. Her 
plump and pretty face was swollen until it 
was almost unrecognisable. She was the pic- 
ture of desolation. 

I lay still, in silent horror, furtively feeling 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 45 

the marbly lumps on my own forehead. By 
and by the landlady retired for some fresh 
water". Then came the last act of the tragedy. 

Madame V seized a hand-mirror, and, in her 

gestures like no one so much as Miss Achurch, 
in Antony and Cleopatra, she began to analyze 
the bites. There was no denying the fact that 
her face was ruined for at least a week. The 
tears welled out afresh. She rose, and came up 
to my bed. I feigned sleep. She gently shook 
me, and implored me to look at her. 

"Don't be bashful," she said, " this is no time 
for bashfulness ; besides, I am old enough to be 
your grandmother. Do you think, Mr. Thirl- 
mere, that my face will ever be right again ? " 
. " O, yes," I said, consolingly, " to-morrow 
you will be as fresh as a daisy." 

"You know you are fooling me," she cried. 
" What shall I do — whatever shall I do ? I have 

a letter of introduction to the Bishop of . 

I could never present myself before the dear 
Bishop in this plight, could I ? " 

" Now, come here, my good dame," said the 
landlady, re-entering. " Let me apply these 
cold water bandages." 

And here I draw a veil over the sad finale. 

Bribes and entreaties at length obtained for 



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I46 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

our American friends a share of a bedroom at 
the Hotel Universo, whilst the Basque apothe- 
cary prevailed upon " Pepito," the head-waiter 
of the ^uropa, to let us have his bedroom in 
the Calle Estevanez, No. 9, piso segundo; which 
don't go to seek, as there is also a No. 9 duplicado 
and a No. 9 triplicado, and the multiplication of 
numbers will vex your spirit. 

Pepito' s real name was Jose Cal6s ; there was 
quite a gipsy flavour about the word Cal6s, 
which took my fancy. The Calle Estevanez 
lies off the Plazuela de Sas, and in the sandtity 
of No. 9 we quite forgot the discomforts of the 
preceding night. 

The Catholic Congress, which terminated on 
the nth October, filled the dull old town of 
Zaragoza with unaccustomed liveliness. The 
twenty-five prelates and the distinguished lay- 
men, who took part in the principal functions, 
held their meetings in a boarded enclosure of 
the Gothic Cathedral of "La Seo." When their 
sittings ended, the great ceremonies of The 
Temple of the Pillar — in connection with the 
feasts of the Rosary— took place. The Virgin 
of " El Pilar " has a large following of devo- 
tees, and consequently, the city was filled to 
overflowing. 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 47 

On Saturday evening, October 1 ith, the ser- 
vices began in the Temple, the Cathedral, and 
thq various churches. Streams of worshippers 
attended the masses, at which many great dig- 
nitaries officiated. It was a memorable sight to 
see the blind, the sick, and the lame, kneeling 
behind the altar of the Virgin in the temple of 
"El Pilar," craning their necks through an 
aperture to kiss the sacred stone, which is sup- 
posed to possess so many marvellous attributes. 
Impressive processions, a military mass, and 
great bull-fights, wound up the fiestas; these 
costly celebrations serving to fill the popular 
mind with a sense of the splendour and power 
of the Romish Church. 

Placido de Barrena y Urdapilleva — in other 

words, my friend the apothecary— took me to 

see a bull-fight. It was my first. I will not 

attempt to describe what has been already so 

often described. It was a Corrida de Novillos; 

of young weak bulls known as torosflojos. These 

poor animals had their horns covered up with 

thick felt. Dreadful tortures were inflicted upon 

the Novillos by a howling mob of young men, 

who were possessed of the tauromachian disease 

in its worst form. I remember that I said a 

quiet prayer when the first bull emerged from 

l— 2 



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I48 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

the toril. He came towards me, across the arena, 
in huge bounds, as if he would leap the barrier, 
as so many of his unhappy kindred have done 
at similar functions. 

Leaving this exciting scene, we saw a mag- 
nificent procession of cardinals, archbishops, 
bishops, and other dignitaries, winding along 
the streets just as dusk was coming. The light 
of the tapers grew clearer every instant, and 
the air was full of incense. These props of the 
Church were taking the image of the Virgin 
from the Cathedral of the Pillar to the Seo ; 
they were afterwards to hold a banquet, some- 
thing like that at which the Jackdaw of. 
Rheims assisted. The Plaza de la Consti- 
tucion was full of merry people. Quacks and 
fortune-tellers plied their trade in front of the 
overflowing Europa Hotel, whilst crowds of su- 
perstitious peasants scrambled over one another 
on their way to kiss the sacred stone. But are 
not all these things writ in the chronicles of the 
Catholic Congress, and in the sacred journal of 
El Pilar — Semanario Catdlico ? 

It was the second week of October, yet the 
wild strawberries from the pine forests were to 
be had in abundance. The figs they gave us at 
dessert, however, were not so juicy as they are 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 49 

in the late summer. We had splendid fare at 
table d'hdU, where I sat next to a bishop of most 
courtly manners. Mr. Barrena, the apothecary, 
was at my other hand at every meal, telling me 
funny tales, in which Queen Isabella and her 
many Marquises did not escape criticism. 

I remember our last night. Our excellent 
dinner, our walk through the Square ; the bad 
water served by the waiter, who wanted to go 
to England to see the Queen, and to procure a 
situation at some place where he might be near 
his friend, — who was assistant cook at some 
London club; — the quiet talk at our lodgings, 
and the sweet, refreshing slumber that fol- 
lowed an eventful day. I recollect, too, the 
pleasure I experienced on the morning of my 
departure. How Pl&cido de Barrena y Urda- 
pilleva — whose shyness had been slowly leaving 
him, and whose intelligence had been displaying 
itself gradually, like an opening rose— all at once 
flashed on me as a man of culture. 

We were lazily drinking coffee, and eating 
grapes in our beds. The camas were ranged 
side by side in a little alcove of Pepito's tiny 
room. Placido had been giving me a disquisi- 
tion on the subtleties of the character of Mary, 
Queen of Scots, whom he considered a martyr of 



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I50 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

Holy Church. I knew him already for a well-read 
fellow, but I was certainly not prepared for his 
lucid criticism of Elizabeth's great mistake. 
From this subjedl he wandered on to the 
living poets of Spain. 

First came ]os6 Zorrilla, the author of the 
play Don Juan Tenorio. Zorrilla, he said, was 
the special representative of the old school in 
Spanish poetry. 

" He is too romantic," he continued ; u he 
looks after the ' effecftismus ' too much. One 
must forgive him many faults, however, for the 
sake of his great epic poem Granada: this is 
Zorrilla's most celebrated work, after Don Juan 
Tenorio, which you know is performed every- 
where on All Saints' Day." 

From Zorrilla he passed on to Ramon Cam- 
poamor, the best of all living Castilian poets. 

" His verses resemble Heine's," said the 
apothecary, " but he is gayer than the German 
lyrist. He has, of course, the Spanish charac- 
ter, and that accounts for his vivacity and 
sparkle. Read his Dolores collection, and you 
will be charmed with the poems." 

" And what about Gaspar Nunez de Arce ? " 
I asked. 

«' Well," said Plfcido, ruminatively, " he is 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 151 

also a good writer ; but he displays too many of 
the defects of the older Spanish poets. He is 
too inflated. Nunez de Arce finishes my list of 
first-rate Castilian versifiers. The Galicians, 
however, have a writer of whom they are justly 
proud. Rosalia de Castro has shown us what 
delicious modulations may be found in the harsh 
dialect of the north-west. The Catalans have 
Jacinto Verdaguer, who is a priest. His works 
are translated into many languages, but unhap- 
pily not into English. His mystic poems are 
charming, but the epics Atlantida and Canigd 
are more celebrated than his shorter and more 
lyrical efforts. Cataluiia also boasts of Francesch 
Matheu, who is out and away the best love poet 
in Spain. You must read his fine book La Copa. 
The great eastern province has also produced 
Apeles Mestres, who is essentially modern in 
feeling. The fault I find with this man is that 
his imagination is too powerful, and runs away 
with him. His work may be placed between 
German and Scandinavian poetry." 

Although I did not quite understand my 
friend's remarks on the position of Apeles 
Mestres in contemporary verse, I was, never- 
theless, impressed by his acquaintance with the 
belles lettres of Spain. How many men in the 



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152 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

street could give me such an unassuming, and 
yet perfectly comprehensive critical estimate of 
the living poets of their country ? Placido de 
Barrena y Urdapilleva had not lived his lonely 
life at Betelu in the mountains for nothing. 

I said farewell to this pleasant fellow with 
real regret, promising to visit him some winter, 
and to accompany him on a bear shoot. Zara- 
goza was still brilliant with the splendour of a 
great military mass when at last I tore myself 
away. 

Passing down to Barcelona, it was a lovely 
sight to see Lerida gradually rise out of the 
pearly grey of the morning, as the train ap- 
proached. When we paused at the station, the 
antique town shone like an enchanted vision. 
A stern old building on high ground was bathed 
in a deep flush of rose, like some ideal castle in 
a fairy pidlure. 



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XIV 

ZARAGOZA TO BARCELONA 

I left Zaragoza at dead of night, bound for 
beautiful Barcelona. At the station, the Salas 
de Espera were crowded with pilgrims newly 
returned from Rome. Rembrandtesqiie groups 
occupied the chairs, the couches, and covered 
the whole of the floors. They were chiefly 
natives of the north-western provinces, who 
had had the misfortune to excite the superfine 
contempt of the railway officials. They were 
Gallegos, which in Spain is a synonym for 
"louts." In the opinion of the porters none 
but Gallegos would thus lie about like dogs. 

" They are brutes," was the general verdi<5l 
of the Aragonese. And yet, to me, these poor 
pilgrims seemed to be well-mannered, sweet- 
tempered, docile creatures, who did not obje<5t 
to being led by the nose like their own oxen, 
and tyrannized over by their spiritual advisers. 
Their priestly leaders had given them a fine 



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154 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

dance across Spain and the deceitful Mediter- 
ranean, in order that they might make them- 
selves sure of heaven by kissing the big toe of 
the "Papa" This ceremony duly performed, 
and the second sea-sickness over, they were 
yearning for home. One of their special trains 
came groaning into the station, and, as usual, a 
porter yelled, "/ Sehores viajeros al tren/" adding, 
as a sort of afterthought, "/y los GalUgos tambien I " 

I felt genuinely sorry for those sturdy nor- 
therners, tumbling over each other in their mad 
rush to secure good seats. They exemplified so 
well the infinite confusion of the sad story of 
humanity. Apparently they were not of the 
proper caste to be included under the term 
" Sehores viajeros" 

But, after all, it must be confessed that the 
wits of the GalUgos are very often engaged in 
wool-gathering. 

There is a little story to the effect that, one 
night, in the Madrid opera-house, two aristocratic 
young ladies from the north-west were listening 
most intently to the grand choruses in Tann- 
kauser. 

" Are you JUarmdnicas ?" asked a gallant, upon 
entering their box. " You seem absorbed in the 
music." 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 55 

This caballero was somewhat surprised at the 
reply. 

"No, senor," said the elder sister, "we are 
Gallegas" 

Such tales are innumerable. Galicia and the 
Asturias constitute the Hibernia of Spain ; and 
beneath the uncouth exterior, and the amazing 
ignorance of the highlanders, — who adl as hewers 
of wood and drawers of water in the capital,— 
there is all the unconscious humour of the Celt, 
united to the sterling qualities of the sterner 
Gael. Spurned by the blue-blooded Castilian 
and Navarrese, the Galician is nevertheless 
happy in his bondage, and happiness is surely 
the mother of wit and humour. 

The fellow who one day told his master that, 
at the moment of losing a packet of valua- 
bles, the light was so intense, that in order 
to see anything it was necessary to close his 
eyes, was perhaps not quite so stupid as he 
appeared* 

The sun was high in the heavens long before 
the express had passed through the flat, almost 
desert land, that extends from Zaragoza to lofty 
Lerida. 

I awoke as we steamed into the latter station, 
and found it pleasant to issue from the stuffy 



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I56 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

sleeping-car into the sunbright freshness of a 
new day. 

" Alight and wash your face, senor" cried an 
old woman, as she saw my head appear at the 
window. And, fearing that I was hopelessly 
besmirched, I promptly did her bidding, retiring 
to an open-air toilet chamber, beside the shrubs 
of the platform. 

" God will repay you, sir," said the good soul, 
on receiving the gratuity which I willingly gave 
for the luxury of exquisitely clean towels and 
pure water, in which the sun's rays were 
focussed. " May you soon come this way 
again ! I see you are only a pdjaro de entrada" 

With her blessing ringing in my ears, and 
feeling that all my senses were baptized anew 
with the auroral beauty of the world, I re- 
entered the train. 

We moved out of the station into a fertile 
smiling country. In the north, dark Pyrenean 
peaks were superimposed upon a belt of opal- 
escent cloud. Still farther away, in the same 
direction, other mountains faintly shone, covered 
with eternal snow, white as the Jungfrau's silver 
horn. 

Away we sped, the train rocking violently, — 
through fields of barley, whose ripples would 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 157 

have gladdened the soul of Keats ; then snort- 
ing through a landscape rich in warm brown 
hues of upturned earth. Away to the east we 
rushed, past clumps of golden iris, brightening 
the margents of little fretful brooks; through 
vast stretches of waving wheat, which the 
spring had splashed with the splendid scarlet 
of the abundant poppy. The Spanish May is 
indeed made memorable by the fragile beauty 
of this gaudy flower. 

One of my fellow-travellers was a geologist, 
and an authority on dinosaurs. He was a 
stout, wheezy fellow, the embodiment of good 
humour. His voice had the drollest of all 
possible inflections. It gave one the amusing 
impression of a faint escape of gas from an 
unlighted burner. 

" What would you have done, senor" he 
asked, " had you been a prehistoric savage, and 
had had the misfortune to meet a dinosaur ? " 

He rubbed his hands in a sort of ecstacy at 
the idea of my having a rencontre with one of 
these gentle antediluvians. 

" I should have run away, senor," I replied, 
" and pray, what would you have done ? " 

" I also should have run away," he said ; 
" but the necks of those graceful creatures had 



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I58 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

a knack of going round corners, and they could 
almost be in two places at once. I frankly 
own that a huge thirteen metre megalosaurus, 
of the Jurassic continent, must have been a 
terror ! " 

This pleasant old Falstaff told me that all the 
dragon stories were true in substance and in 
£a<5t; that dinosaurs survived the prehistoric 
age, and, breeding in caves and lonely places* 
made things pretty lively for our remote ances- 
tors. He had a theory that dragon stories ran 
in the blood — that there was something of 
animism in them — something traditional, re- 
mote, primeval, whose origin was lost in darkest 
eld. The savage mother, nursing her savage babe, 
whispered terrible tales of the dragon. These 
thrilling stories were taken in with the maternal 
milk, becoming a part of the youngster's life, to 
be in turn handed down into our own time. 

" Look at your legend of St. George and the 
Dragon," he cried, " the monster slain by Eng- 
land's tutelar saint was probably a pterodactyl 
of the mesozoic period. Then there is the tale 
of Perseus and Andromeda, and many others." 

I did not argue with him. It is much more 
interesting, and agreeable, quietly to listen to 
people than to dispute their statements. In his 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 59 

valise the geologist had a marble statuette of a 
modern athlete. 

" Is it not wonderful ? " he asked. " It was 
chiselled from life." 

" It certainly is wonderful," I said. " The 
muscles of the back are splendidly carved." 

"A young Basque pelota player was the 
model. Tell me, do you think there is any 
racial degeneration here ? I'll wager something 
that Amadis de Gaul could not have been in it 
with Chiquita." 

" Yes, but Chiquita is a specialist," I rejoined. 
" He does not represent the nation. Pardon me 
if I tell you that, as a race, you are physically 
degenerate. Your upper, and especially your 
middle classes, are not to be compared with 
ours. I think your peasants are finer than the 
British, but the urban population of tauroma- 
chian Spain is too much addicted to coffee, to 
aguardiente, and to tobacco; and so it is effete. 
Your countrymen love to huddle together in 
towns and villages; as a body they seem to 
hate a rural life. That which is beautiful in 
your statuette is beautiful not so much to my 
eyes, but to my imagination. For in that marble 
I see an augury of future blessings for your 
great nation. The interest which all classes 



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l6o IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

now show in pdota will read* upon the people ; 
making them more manly, more robust, more 
natural ; and thus lead them to vie with each 
other in all healthy activities." 

I had had this on my mind for quite a long 
time, and I was glad to rid myself of the 
burden. My delightful friend received the 
frank expression of my views in silence, and, 
all the rest of the way, he gave me no oppor- 
tunity for the exercise of candour, overwhelming 
me, as he did, with exquisite descriptions of the 
tnarismas of Andalucia, with their colonies of rare 
wild- fowl, not least beautiful of which are the 
herds of crimson flamingoes. 

We were moving rapidly eastward through 
patches of purplish-white buckwheat, past tiny 
cottages nestling close to the railway, each little 
habitation proud of its shady fig-tree and blos- 
soming vine. In the plains the vines were also 
blossoming ; the little, thick stumps that stud 
the red fields being covered with exquisitely 
tender young leaves. In Spain the vine of the 
campo is invariably cut down year by year. The 
few new branches that bring forth fruit, hang 
close to the ground, consequently the grapes 
become much soiled during thunderstorms. 
When we recollect that the fruit is thrown 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN l6l 

into the lagans without any attempt at selection, 
we cease to wonder how it is that the generous 
red wines of Navarra, of La Mancha, of Aragon, 
and of Cataluna, usually lack that special deli- 
cacy of bouquet and flavour which the French 
vintages possess. A wasteful process of prun- 
ing also results in a curtailment of the crop. 

There is nothing like the quantity of fruit 
grown that might be produced on this fertile 
soil. The explanation is that wood is dear, and 
that it would not pay the people to stake the 
vines. Hence the general superiority of French 
vintages, which manage somehow or other to 
keep in the front rank, although of late years 
their reputation has been somewhat tarnished by 
the reports of enormous importations of Spanish 
wines at Bordeaux, and other French ports, for 
treatment and re-exportation as the genuine 
home-made article. 

In all good French vineyards each bunch of 
grapes is carefully picked, and only the good 
fruit placed in the winepress ; all the astrin- 
gent stalks being excluded. In Spain the method 
is very different. Except in the Jerez district, 
the bunches are generally crushed en masse ; good, 
bad, and indifferent grapes are trodden down 
by boys such as that wild young Bacchus whom 

M 



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1 62 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

Velasquez painted, surrounded by a crowd of 
sensual boors. By the way, that pidlure in the 
Madrid Museo is one of the truest paintings I 
have ever seen ; it is so typical of the people, 
and is, in its way, as true to-day as it was in 
the time of its creator. 

This being the ordinary treatment of the uva, 
the vino de mesa generally in use has but little 
charm for an English palate. Nevertheless, 
excellent wine is made in Spain, for which 
good prices are asked and readily given. There 
is the Rioja Clarete of the Compania Vinicola, 
and the claret of the Marquis de Riscal, which 
latter is a most delicate and excellent liquor.. 
One may get " Riscal " in England both pri- 
vately and publicly, as witness the wine cards 
of the famous Palmerston Restaurant in Broad 
Street, the Cafe Monico, De Keyser's Hotel, &c. 
Then there is the Lecanda wine of Valladolid, 
the Rioja of the Marquis de Reinosa, to say 
nothing of the well-known Valdepena§, which 
is, however, somewhat out of date. English 
travellers should insist upon getting these 
various brands when making journeys in §pain, 
because the several manufacturers have copied 
the French methods, and their vintages are good. 
The ordinary table wine should be avoided, as 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 63 

my experience teaches me that it is too strong 
and acrid for a British stomach. The sweet 
wines of the South and East are also excellent. 
Writing of these nectars, I may mention my dis- 
covery of Malvasia, the historical Malvoisie of our 
ancestors. The word Malvasia, which is purely 
Catalan, had its origin in this way : — A number 
of Sitgians crossed the Mediterranean to assist 
Andronicus Paleologos, the Byzantine Emperor 
of Greece, in his wars with the Turks. (The 
Catalan kings were called Counts of Athens in 
the twelfth century.) These warriors brought 
back from the island of Xio a strong, sweet 
wine, the secret of whose manufacture they 
likewise managed to obtain. This ardent liquor 
is now made at Sitges, a lovely little town on 
the Mediterranean, forty-two kilometres from 
Barcelona. It is prepared in some special way, 
with the help of herbs — mallow being one of the 
chief factors in its flavouring, hence the name 
Malvasia. Malva is the Spanish equivalent of 
mallow — plural tnalvas, the French mauve. The 
termination ia signifying " treated with." In 
making such fine, sweet " ladies'" wines as this, 
great care is exercised. The mass of selected 
berries, all bursting with generous nectar, is 

allowed to remain in the press untouched by 

m— 2 



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1 64 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

hands or feet; the grapes thus crush them- 
selves. The juice flows gradually into the 
vat, and consequently no astringency of bruised 
seed or stem is imparted to the must. I have 
tried Malvoisic, and I vote it a liqueur. Our 
forefathers must have had the most remarkable 
internal economies to have been able to cope 
with this strong, sweet wine. It is delicious, 
nevertheless, with the very faintest volatile 
odour of rum in the bouquet. The salt sea air 
perhaps gives the grapes a certain character, 
which, with the Malva treatment, imparts to 
the wine that peculiarly subtle flavour for which 
it is noted. At good hotels the cost is four 
pesetas, or say three shillings per bottle, but 
any enterprising merchant will be able to buy 
it in Sitges at very low rates. Indeed wine is 
cheap everywhere in Spain, outside the limits of 
municipal octrois. The stoniest parish can boast 
its pleasant cluster of vines, and the poorer the 
soil, the better they seem to thrive. 

The stout Spanish geologist had much to say 
about wines, and in turn I regaled him with 
a glowing account of Lord Bute's vineyard in 
South Wales, whose Castell Coch, 1881 vintage, 
realised one hundred and fifteen shillings a dozen 
at Birmingham in 1893. * ^ s0 s P un a ^ ne 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 165 

yarn about the Marquis's other vineyard of 
Gamay Noir grapes, which in 1893 gave forty 
hogsheads of wine of the best quality. 

" Well, I declare," said the geologist, " viti- 
culture seems to be the trade of Marquises, both 
in England and in Spain. But then they are 
good-for-nothing fellows, and the manufacture of 
wine no doubt keeps them out of mischief." 

In asking pardon for this long digression, I 
frankly acknowledge that such episodes are not 
attributes of 3. really good style. But Spain 
and grapes suggest one another, and so do 
Gibraltar and Spain. There was a second old 
gentleman in the carriage who had Gibraltar on 
the brain. In one breath he said the fortress 
was worth nothing — " no vafe nada" The next 
moment he was pathetically imploring me to 
restore it to his country. 

" Give it back to us if you are a fair-minded 
man," he cried, holding out both hands with 
almost tragic entreaty. 

He looked as if he would have credited me 
with the powers of a plenipotentiary had I 
handed him the latch-key of my chambers, 
saying that it was the Have of the Rock, and 
that the place was entirely at his disposition. 

It is a fact that our possession of Gibraltar is 



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1 66 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

a secret thorn in the side of all Spaniards. 
They resent our presence there, just as we 
should resent a French fortress and the French 
flag at the Lizard. 

We were now passing through an almost 
Flemish landscape of flat cornland, where 
the wheat was burnt to gold under the rows 
of poplars. We passed Bell-Puig and entered 
the llano, or plain, of Urgel. Don Salvador 
Casanas y Pag6s, a recently-ele&ed Cardinal, 
is the Obispo of this district, and he also wields 
virtual power over the interesting little re- 
public of Andorra, away in the Pyrenees. He 
is considered and treated as a Royal prince, 
having almost a feudal authority over his dio- 
cese. I was thinking how beautiful looked the 
plain of Urgel, and the ancient fort of Tarrega, 
glowing red in the morning sun, when a passage 
of arms between my two companions distradled 
my attention. 

" Competition is so keen that I am sometimes 
afraid of brain fever," said the gentleman who 
wanted me to give him back Gibraltar. 

" O, pray set your mind at rest on that point," 
snapped the geologist, " for you will never have 
such a fever." 

After this verbal affray there was a fairly 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 67 

long pause in the conversation. Meanwhile the 
country had become more undulating, with 
glimpses of little towns faintly shining far away. 
In the clear, dry air of magnificently rural Spain 
we could see leagues and leagues to northward, 
the high Pyrenees making a glorious back- 
ground, their blanched crests looming through 
the clouds. All this flat land is but sparsely 
wooded : the wasteful process of disaffbrestation 
is still going on throughout the country, from 
North to South. We need not be surprised 
that the climate of the high tablelands is so 
terribly dry at all seasons. Only in the South 
does the carbonero spare any tree ; the alcornoque 
(cork) woods of Andalucia being exempt from 
the general extirpation. 

Beyond Cervera I caught sight of the grey 
old castle of Santa F6, set in a hollow of the 
plain, and idealised by the magic beauty of 
the morning. Tennysonian music suddenly 
awakened from its sleep in some mystical con- 
volution of the brain, and my lips silently 
repeated the poet's loveliest lyric — 

" The splendour falls on castle walls, 
And snowy summits old in story." 

Those words were vitalised at once — the picture 
was before me. Reflections on the events that 



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1 68 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

have occurred at Santa F6 in bygone days, gave 
place to beautiful memories of Coniston Mere, 
where " the long lights shake across the lake," 
when the clouds race up from the sea. The 
poem still lit my imagination when we had 
reached the foothills of the celebrated range of 
Montserrat. These mountain spurs were in 
places golden with the pianta genista, and in 
others sombre and solemn with plumy pines. 
The lower branches of these trees had been 
lopped off for firewood, leaving nothing but fune- 
real tufts of dark feathers on the tops of the red 
trunks. Emerging from their Plutonian shade 
we entered a stony grove of evergreen oak, in 
which I saw many unfamiliar birds. Farther 
on there was a charming little scene, where, 
beneath a hawthorn hedge, there was a group 
of pretty children, and a black cat sunning 
himself among blossoms of the wild strawberry. 
Here in these forests strawberries are plentiful, 
and they last nearly all the summer. I have 
eaten them both in May and September, this 
fruit forming the chief spring and autumn des- 
sert of many a Spanish fonda. 

The bare country about ugly Calaf was bright 
with the glorifying touch of the prifnavera. During 
the military manoeuvres in the autumn, Calaf is 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 69 

always a dusty wilderness; now, however, a 
flood of tender green overspread the plain. 
In these half-desolate, savage, yet strangely 
beautiful trails of sun-scorched land, I some- 
times endeavour to find out the secret of their 
fascination for my soul. Here, in the wild plains 
of the north-east, as. in the wide despoblados of 
the south, perfumed with rosemary and thyme, 
I am thrilled by primeval feelings. Sometimes 
they appal, at others they amaze, and occa- 
sionally they fill me with joy. But they never 
fail to exert a subtle fascination upon my 
heart, the secret of which I cannot discover. 
As well might I try to dig man's immortal 
spirit out of a poem with a spade, or attempt 
to plumb the Atlantic with a metre measure. 
This feeling is the same in the flowery manchones, 
or fallow lands, of Andalucia, as on the wild 
moors of Britain. 

When the train began to shriek through cool 
tunnels the clouds were gathered above us, giving 
an impressive and threatening aspedl to the land- 
scape. It was now that I descried another old 
feudal castle crowning a giddy peak. As we 
came nearer to this oldtime stronghold, I grew 
much interested in it. Our way led through a 
long valley full of pines and cork trees. When 



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I70 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

we reached the point at which I expe<5led the 
ancient ruin to come into further and better 
view, I found that my castle had vanished into 
thin air. To me it was a veritable chateau en 
Espagne. 

We flew past Rajadell in full summer weather, 
under a blue and cloudless sky. The water of 
the brooks was like crime (Thomard, it was so 
thickly turbid with the red soil of the vine- 
yards, which had been carried away by the 
heavy rain of the night. In these vineyards 
the snapdragon flaunted its showy purple, 
and harebells, bright as the Catalan sky, were 
dancing in the wind as merrily as if their home 
had been a Scottish brae. Now I spied a snug 
little farmhouse, with the inevitable girl going 
to the well with her large, cool, brown cdntaro; 
then a long stretch of uninhabited land. 

All at once the barren pinnacles of Montserrat 
appeared before me. They are peaks of noble 
and satisfying aspect, crowning a stupendous 
ridge whose height, weirdness, and perpendicular 
precipices make it one of the wonders of Spain. 
Manresa is in these mountains, and here we 
halted in order that we might devour some of 
the tortillas for which that station is deservedly" 
famed. I found my omelette to be light, deli* 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 171 

cious, and wholesome, and I was astonished to 
learn how hungry I was when I saw the fat lady 
of the restaurant splitting rolls, and shovelling 
tortillas between the halves. 

We were still hard at work satisfying our 
appetites when the train moved off, and we 
crossed the ruddy river Llobregat, mentioned 
not seldom in Napier's " Chronicles of the Peni- 
nsular War." This stream was simply a great 
torrent of mud, and it seemed to me that, in its 
whirling waters, the very life-blood of Spain was 
being poured down into the sea. The country, 
being everywhere so bare of trees, seems always 
to be losing its soil during the heavy storms. 
These tempests, of course, are largely caused by 
the extreme heat, engendered by the disafforesta- 
tion of the great plains. If Spain could see 
her way to planting trees in the desert, and irri- 
gating the secanos, what latent wealth would be 
disclosed ! 

Pidluresque Monistrol now became visible, 
set in a red ravine in the great, grotesque 
mountains of Montserrat. A funicular railway, 
and certain other signs of popularity, showed 
that this was a favourite holiday place. Crowds 
of operatives thronged the station of Monistrol, 
for this is part of the manufacturing district of 



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17^ IDYLLS OF SBAIN 

Cataluna; Manresa, Sabadell, and Tarresa 
being other industrial centres of no small im- 
portance. 

At Monistrol I also saw a leper. As I passed 
him on the platform I perceived a faint and dis- 
gusting odour. He was a very young man, his 
black eyes full of the unspeakable pathos of sus- 
pended passion. His hands were pallid, scaly, 
and hideous. He had eaten too much of that 
horrible food bacalao — a badly-cured, evil-smell- 
ing salt fish, imported from Scandinavia, which 
constitutes one of the principal articles oi the 
Catalan workman's dietary. For this young 
man there could be no more love, no more joy ; 
he was damned and done for. The sight of him 
was bad enough, but the refie<5rions which he 
gave rise to were more than painful. 

Here an American joined us and lit the eternal 
cigar. The Americans will never smoke pipes 
until, some fine day, the Prince of Wales stands 
on the steps of Marlborough House, and takes 
his pipe into the carriage with him. Then 
every man Yankee will set up a briar. 

This man was an unfortunate exception to 
to the general body of his globe-trotting com- 
patriots. He was a cad, and a very rude cad 
into the bargain. He was liberally besprinkled 



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i 



IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 73 

with jewellery, which prompted one of my com- 
panions to whisper, — 

" Is it not very like a brass knocker on the 
door of a pigstye ? " 

This purse-proud globe-trotter had been 
having a bad time on the London Stock Ex- 
change. His strictures on the tadtics of company 
promoters gave me the idea of writing the fol- 
lowing exercise in Spanish : — 

Cancion de la Bolsa. 

Como an pajarero 
Con su cencerro — 
I Falaz campanilla 1 
Sobre la vega 
Anda furtivamente 
Por la noche oscura, 
Bnllando su sorda linterna 
En los ojos de las alondras, 
Llenandolas de estupor ; 
Y asi con las sonrisas 
De su maestro el diablo 
Cogiendo sus victimas 
Asi como fresas, — 
Viene el aventurero 
Entre nosotros. 

Pensamos todos 
Que el es amigo, — 
Un buey inocente, 
Tocando su cencerro 
Cuando comiendo 
Yerbas del campo. 



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174 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

Luego subitamente 
£1 nos deslumbra 
Con suefios placenteros 
Del Dorado nuevo : 
Halagado y temblando 
Calmos en sus manos, — 
La alegria nuestra 
Perdida por todo. 

I Ojala ! que fuere 
Un buitre de los montes, — 
Un Quebranta-huesos, — 
Enormemente fuerte, 
Que pudiese descenderme 
En las calles de Londres, 
Arrebatar tales hombres 
En mis garras tan agudas, 
Y de pronto remontarme 
Alto en el cielo, 
Para matarlos enseguida 
Encima del tejado 
De la Catedral insigne 
Del mmortal San Pablo 1 

Having crossed the watershed, with wild 
shrieks and at a furious pace we swept down 
into the land of the agave and the prickly pear. 
We could now see the Mediterranean, and the 
white sails of fishing boats skimming across its 
blue waters. 

The vines crept higher and higher up the 
hills, as the landscape grew still more diversified 
and picturesque. The jungle that adorned the 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 75 

sides of the railway was starred with pink 
convolvulus. Everywhere there were signs of 
abundant life. All over the country folk were 
busy with the sweet, fresh labours of the spring. 
How suggestive were the swathes of grass in a 
perfumed hayfield beyond Sabadell ! The faint, 
familiar scent of this early hay lingered about 
me even when we had glided through rose- 
gardens into beautiful, peerless Barcelona ; and 
as I passed through the crowded streets of the 
city, my mind was busy thinking of other hay- 
fields under a northern sky. 



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XV 
BARCELONA 

There had been heavy rain,, and the splendid 
masses of larkspur in the park were somewhat 
bedraggled, and splashed with mud. The con- 
tinual breath of roses made the air heavy and 
relaxing ; whilst the still more penetrating odour 
of the orange blossoms sweetened the atmo- 
sphere so much that one's mind became full of 
an indescribable imaginative tumult, and one's 
senses seemed to faint in a riot of recollections 
and anticipations. The quintessential fragrance 
of old romance pulsed through the delicious air ; 
for the exquisitely fragrant petals of the azahar 
flowers were drying in the intermittent bursts of 
sunlight, and, to my mind, there is no bloom in 
this glorious world with so powerful and so poig- 
nant a sweetness as that possessed by the bridal 
orange-blossom — the azahar of the Moors. 

By a singularly happy chance I found two 
perfectly congenial friends in Barcelona. One 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 77 

of them a man of brawn, height, and match- 
less symmetry — a very Hercules in bulk and 
strength, and an Admirable Crichton in soul. 
The other of a less robust type in point of 
physique, yet developed in both mind and body 
far beyond the ordinary man. Let me bestow 
familiar names upon these two companions. 
Henceforward the former shall be known as 
Hercules, the latter as the Nightingale. 

The Nightingale is endowed with an inde- 
scribable personal charm, which is, perhaps, 
in some, degree attributable to his Scandinavian 
ancestry. To his Viking forefathers may cer- 
tainly be traced that bright impulsiveness, that 
wide generosity, and that boyish abandon which 
go so far towards making him such an agreeable 
companion. His charm is quite independent 
of the mellow, organ-like voice given him by 
Nature— a voice the like of which I have never 
heard before. Its tones bring tears into women's 
eyes and shake the hearts of men — its strength 
absolutely compels homager^HPor^when the 
Nightingale sings, all the passion of the ages 
seems to be thrilling in the palpitant air, which 
becomes articulate with our own personal yearn- 
ings and aspirations hitherto unexpressed ; so 
that one regards him with reverence,— as one 



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178 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

who can pour forth those thanksgivings which 
in us are for ever repressed. 

Real feeling is so contagious that, thus walking 
in the Park, we were all three wrapped in one 
common joy — the simple bliss of existence. 
Are there not moments in the most dreary lives 
— brief interludes — when glimpses of perfedl 
happiness come to us unsought and uncraved? 
Moments when we are fain to acknowledge that 
to have lived, and toiled, and suffered, only for 
such hallowed instants full of the true appre- 
hension of beauty, is not to have existed in vain ? 
Moments when we realise that such divine 
emotion as then thrills us bespeaks the divinity 
within these corporeal frames, moving with 
mechanical preciseness amidst a thousand unin- 
teresting and uninspired nonentities ? At such 
times the soul strives to release itself from its 
temporary abode, yearning for an ampler vision 
of the Elysian fields of the imagination, and our 
sensuous delight gives a silent denial to the 
philosophers who tell us that happiness is 
always in the Past or in the Future. 

Present bliss made perfe<5l the accord which 
subsisted between our trio on the day we walked 
in the perfume of the azahar, and in thorough 
sympathy of thought and emotion we were 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 79 

silent. It was a Tennysonian-Carlylesque, an 
eloquent, delegable silence; somewhat new 
and strange to us, for we were constantly chat- 
tering, and blurting out crude thoughts one to 
another. But now there was a hint of strange, 
unearthly beauty — "the light that never was 
on land or sea" — radiating and pulsating in 
the clear rain-washed air, and shining upon the 
dripping petals of the great southern roses. 
This spiritual apprehension, as of a Heaven 
at our very hand, checked the too impulsive 
tongue and kept us reverently silent. 

Success is written on the foreheads of both 
my friends. Hercules is most deft with his net 
of language, in which he is indolently quick to 
seize the butterfly ideas that flit through and 
through his well-stored mind. The Nightingale 
has more than one fortune in his clarion voice, 
and a great store of hope and courage in his 
sea-blue Viking eyes. In the company of these 
men I always feel full of a wild, ungovernable, 
preposterous hope. " Some day," I flatter my- 
self, " I shall be like them. I shall be tall and 
massive and awe-inspiring to my fellows. Some 
day I, too, shall sing like the Nightingale, and 
bring beautiful women to my feet with moistened 

eyes." But all the time I know that not in this 

n — 2 



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l8o IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

existence shall these gifts of strength and song 
be vouchsafed to me. 

When abroad I love to hear the sound of my 
own language, and, like Hazlitt, I prefer com- 
pany when I am making a foreign trip ; but I 
differ from the great essayist when I say that 
I also appreciate a companion when journeying 
in my own country. These two men are just 
to my taste ; they would be equally delightful 
companions on the slopes of Skiddaw as in 
Barcelona. When with them I forget the 
world of mean, cheating, gossiping, pharisaical 
creatures, and for the moment move in an 
atmosphere of noble ambition, warmed by the 
sun of perfedl friendship. 

Leaving the Park we made our way to the 
Puerta de la Paz, where our boatman, " Media 
Luna," had his little yacht in readiness for us. 
We set the lateen sail and began a zigzag 
course towards the mouth of the harbour. 
" Half Moon," wrinkled and bronzed by the 
burning noons of Cataluna, essayed his little 
jokes, whilst we silently absorbed the satisfying 
tranquillity of the afternoon. 

"Ah, Senates" said Media Luna, "do you 
know how I got this name — this dog's name 
that sticks to me, like the tick to a sheep's 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN l8f 

back ? / It was in this way : I was gardener to the 

fat old Mayor of G , who had two wooden 

legs, God rest his soul, poor man. He had a 
fat wife, who used to touch up her house with 
rubbishy rags like a milano real decking her nest. 
His Worship was in the habit of taking a little 
too much cognac after his comida. I was pass- 
ing through his garden one winter evening, just 
to say Goodnight to a little serving woman in 
His Worship's kitchen, when I saw by the dim 
light a wheelbarrow in the summerhouse. I at 
once felt sure that I had left it there. So I 
took hold of the handles, and was about to pull 
it out of the arbour, when to my horror I 
realised that the wheelbarrow had resolved 
itself into His Worship the Alcalde, who was 
seated on a s*7fa— taking the air, * You misera- 
ble blockhead,' he shouted, ' what the devil do 
you want with my legs ? ' You see he had had 
much cognac. ' I thought you were a wheel- 
barrow, Your Worship,' said I, all in a shiver. 
Whereon he struck me with one of his crutches 
and told me to go and live with my father the 
devil, saying that I was worse than a wild 
he-goat. It was really too bad altogether. So, 
on my dismissal, I excused myself to my friends 
by saying that the light was bad, there being 



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1 82 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

only half a moon. Hence the nickname, 
• Media Luna,' which has been my especial pro- 
perty ever since that unfortunate day. Ay de 
mi— some men have all the luck— look at Guer- 
rita, Lagartijo, and Mazzantini ; but you see 
/ am doomed to catch mackerel and sardines 
because I hurt His Worship; whilst the gar- 
dener who succeeded me has now a great 

business in G , having as many bottles of 

wine in his stores as I have hairs in my head. 
It really is enough to make one join the ranks 
of the mala gente. There certainly would be 
some satisfaction in the life of a Vizco el Borje, 
with brigand adventures and plenty of gold, 
even if the hangman's rope waited for me at the 
end of it." 

By and by, when we had cleared the offing, 
and passed the fishing boats returning to the 
port, the Nightingale suddenly threw off his 
cap and burst into passionate song. He sang 
Schubert's lovely lyric Pause with so much ex- 
pression, that the tears came into the eyes of 
the material Media Luna. I shall never forget 
the meaning which was thrown into those two 
beautiful lines — 

" 1st es der Nachklang meiner Liebes Pein? 
goll es das Vorspiel neuer Lieder sein?" 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 83 

It was music with the eternal in it. The very 
sea caught the rapture of his trembling voice, 
holding the melody to its bosom for a short 
space ; then the music passed along the sheeny 
surface of the water. With our glasses, we 
could see fishermen away in the distance raise 
their heads in pleased surprise at hearing such 
delightful and unaccustomed sounds, made 
almost wonderful by the reverberating property 
of water. For my own part my feelings bor- 
dered upon ecstacy, and I was lifted out of 
myself, and all at once placed in possession of 
a new dominion of thought, when the Nightin- 
gale began Wolfram's fantasie from Tannhauser 
— the incomparable " Romance of the Star." 
Then followed a sweet, strong Danish ballad, 
which was given in a fine frenzy of lyric enthu- 
siasm — a ballad full of the Viking spirit, and 
stimulating suggestions of wild daring and 
derring-do. These songs were not lost when 
they died on the calm air, after making our 
languid hearts flutter with unwonted emotion. 
The Nightingale's glorious notes are still in my 
heart, and photographed on my brain ; perhaps 
I may not be considered too preposterously 
hopeful when I say that I look for their survival, 
even after the dissolution of this corporeal frame. 



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184 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

Whilst our open-air concert was in progress 
a wide-winged yacht passed us, her sails much 
larger and loftier than those on our own little 
craft. As she swept by, with the graceful ease 
of a perfectly-equipped vessel, Media Luna told 
us that in his opinion a yacht in motion was 
one of the three most beautiful things in nature. 

" And what are the other two ? " we asked. 

" O, that's soon answered," he said. " A horse 
at full gallop and a pretty girl dancing." 

The grey-green water was now pleasantly 
ruffled by an easterly wind. Media Luna had 
been long engaged in trying to capture the wily 
mackerel. His volleys of Catalan expletives, 
fired at the unsuspecting escombros, were wonder- 
fully interesting. With the freshening of the 
wind came the reward of his patience. A fat 
fish was drawn into the boat. Its pretty iri- 
descent skin gleamed like a sullen sunset. We 
had seen it coming up from the depths, a vague 
phosphorescent light. After a brief struggle at 
the bottom of the boat, Hercules took up the 
mackerel and told us of that bloody fiend, the 
brave but cruel Italian, Roger de Lauria, 
Admiral of Spain. When the Count de Foix 
threatened to equip a fleet of three hundred 
sail, to wage war in these Catalan waters, 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 85 

de Lauria haughtily said that, without the per- 
mission of his king, no galley would be per- 
mitted to navigate the Mediterranean, let alone 
a squadron. " Why," cried this arrogant sailor, 
in an outburst of almost hysterical pride, " the 
very fishes themselves must wear the armorial 
bearings of my liege, when they wish to raise 
their heads above the sea." 

De Lauria was then in the service of Alfonso 
el Sabio, King of Aragon — the monarch who 
told one of his courtiers that if he had been of 
God's privy council when the world was formed 
he could have advised Him better. This was in 
the days of feudalism, when the Divine right 
of kings and princes was more than a name. 
Alfonso firmly believed that rank carries with 
it special privileges from above. He once said 
that God gives nobility only to the nobles, and 
reputation only to the reputable. That his ideas 
were shared by his servants may be seen when 
we consider the character of de Lauria. Whilst 
Media Luna drew in a score or so of slip- 
pery mackerel, Hercules told us many a tale of 
that inhuman admiral. Away up in the north 
we could see the scene of one of his greatest 
engagements. Far beyond the most outlying 
skiff, where the sea was tinted like the breast 



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1 86 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

of a stock-dove, de Lauria once gave the fish a 
splendid banquet. After taking Roussillon, the 
French traversed the Ampurdan and laid siege 
to Gerona. De Lauria, seconded by the kij'os- 
dalgo of Castile, gave battle to the invader's 
fleet not far from Rosas, somewhere off San 
Pol, or perhaps San Feliu. He was in com- 
mand of eighteen Catalan galleys. It was a 
bloody fight, waged on a moonless night. The 
commanders of the French and Provencal ves- 
sels were terror-stricken when they received 
Roger's challenge. They tried to throw the 
Spanish squadron into disorder by speaking 
the same language, and hoisting the same 
signals. One of their devices was to use the 
enemy's rallying-word, "Arragon," whenever 
the Spaniards came to close quarters. When 
de Lauria's vessels hoisted lanthorns on their 
poops, the Frenchmen as instantly replied by ex- 
hibiting similar lights. The Catalan bowmen, 
who were said to be the most formidable in 
Europe, got into the midst of their opponents at 
last. They beat down the oars of the Provencal 
galleys, and precipitated the tired slaves into 
the sea. In this midnight battle more than five 
thousand men perished. At its conclusion, de 
Lauria ordered three hundred of his captives 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 87 

to be strung together on a cable, and thrown 
into the water. Two hundred and seventy had 
their eyes scooped out of the sockets. In this 
condition they were landed and conducted to 
the sentinels of the French camp in Gerona. 

Thus ended my friend's account of this memo- 
rable battle. His discourse was followed by a 
discussion on the savagery of ancient and 
modern sea-fighting. We then put our vessel 
on a shoreward tack, and descended to the 
consideration of matters more immediate. We 
spoke of the unkindness of the Spaniards, who 
have so little confidence in women that they 
keep them imprisoned in their houses, like slaves 
in Eastern harems. It was agreed that gentle- 
men are to be found in Spain, but that the hour- 
geosie is not to be compared with the same class 
in England. Yet, after all, Spain is the land 
of gallant men, and of true friendships. The 
Spaniard is always loyal to a sympathetic friend, 
even a ratcrilk will keep faith with those who 
trust him. Always loyal and always polite, 
peasant and peer alike impress one with a 
warmth of kindliness that more than atones 
for the lack of certain British peculiarities. 

The rottenness of the Barcelona municipajism 
was »ext criticised, and we wondered when 



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188 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

a new Lycurgus would arise, to snatch the 
citizens of the fair city from a degraded state of 
effeminacy, luxury, and slothful subordination 
to men who accept bribes as they would drink 
water. We spoke of the great gardens of Sarria, 
whence tons of dew-drenched roses are carted 
to the unique flower market in the Rambla. 
What traveller in Spain has not fallen in love 
With La Rambla de los Flores? Whenever 
mention is made of these rose gardens, Hercules 
instinctively thinks of that honest nobleman, 
Don Bernardino de Sarrft, a redoubtable Catalan 
who fought under the banner of Don James of 
Aragon, and who ranked as one of the most 
valiant cavaliers of the eleventh century. 

But at length we diverted the conversation 
from quaint mediaeval lore into a more delight- 
ful channel. We induced Hercules to grow 
eloquent upon the loveliest of all possible 
flower girls, the sweet Trinidad, who lives at 
Los Cortes de Sarrii. This selfsame damsel — 
"La Florista Morena" as she is familiarly 
styled — pinned the gardenias in our buttonholes 
in the morning, making the shady Rambla live- 
lier and lovelier by her musical little laugh. She 
is the pride of her old parents, and her beauty is 
a sight to see. Chaffing one another about this 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 89 

girl, we disembarked, Media Luna humming 
" Donde vas con manton de Manilla" an air from 
the operetta La Verbena de la Paloma, the diva in 
which was just then taking the city by storm : 
and well she might, for rarely have we beheld a 
fairer creature than this dark-eyed singer, clad in 
her long-fringed white mantle, moving about the 
stage with the grace of a panther. Half Moon 
was very happy, although his catch of fish was 
not satisfactory. He advised us to go to the 
breakwater to watch the yachts come in, for it 
was a Regatta day. Arriving there, we had the 
harbour behind us. Beyond its masts lay Bar- 
celona the beautiful, with her picturesque water 
front of the Paseo de Colon. On that fine pro- 
menade the date palms, made pretty, feathery 
masses of green, which heightened the effect of 
the many-coloured funnels and hulls of steamers. 
Fishing-boats were landing their freight at the 
Puerta de la Paz, and there was much anima- 
tion on the quay. The dim, blue, pine-studded 
hills made an exquisitely soft background to the 
city, their summits lost in great masses of white 
cloud. A new, strange beauty had descended 
upon the great southern town of clear skies 
and sunny weather — the tender, gracious love- 
liness pi cloud and misj:, heightened by a glearn 



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I90 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

of gold in the rainy blue. From our station on 
the breakwater the effect was most surprising. 
The statue of Columbus, standing upon a golden 
sphere, at the summit of his magnificent monu- 
ment, was pointing to the west with an air of 
proud command ;— to the once visionary west, 
where the sky was now beginning to let a 
newer and ruddier light filter through the heavy 
cumuli. Immediately below us was the grey 
Mediterranean, the complement of the lowering 
heavens : — 

" The sea, that harbours in her heart sublime, 
The supreme heart of music deep as time, 
And in her spirit strong 
The spirit of all imaginable song." 

Far out on a line of light we could see a fleet 
of mackerel boats returning homewards, and, 
beyond them, three wide-winged yachts were 
moving gracefully before the dying wind. 

Among the great stones at the base of the 
breakwater, where we were sitting, there was a 
man seeking shellfish. This rough sea-wall 
is a sort of lovers' walk, and sweethearts passed 
us silently, two by two. One girl had fairy 
oaten-coloured hair, and a northern face. At 
sight of her my melodious friend took from his 
pocket-book a photograph. This he regarded 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 191 

with a long and most enraptured gaze. Still 
among the disillusionized, he is, therefpre, much 
swayed by the shy delight of love letters. I 
recall what he said at that moment, — " To be 
loved by a true girl, to have a faithful friend, 
and to possess perfect health, are the three best 
things beneath the sun." And so they are. 

Away up in the clearer air of the north, 
little towns on the coast now took the gleam of 
capricious sunlight, and changeful lights raced 
each other across the sea. Hercules talked of 
Maupassant — how he was quick to seize the 
essential fact, and how he pourtrayed the fact 
in brief and luminous sentences, with just the 
right, the inevitable words. I suggested that 
we should endeavour to describe the stone on 
which we were seated, in some special manner 
of our own, and not in the style affected by 
Flaubert and his pupil. Here is the result : — 

Myself. This stone is interesting. It is stained 
by time with all the antique hues that Beauty 
loves. It is even more than interesting, it is 
wonderful. 

The Nightingale. I agree with you. In ages 
long past, perhaps this hard mass had gracious 
life. Think what that reflection leads us on to ! 

Hercules. May we not also say that it still has 



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192 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

life, independent of the tiny creatures on its sur- 
face ? As every atom of its mass is in motion, 
the stone itself must surely have a certain sort 
of life? 

Myself. Why not ? Just think ! There, in 
that moving mass of molecules, there may exist 
the blotted record of a million lives. 

The Nightingale. Yes, indeed,- — all that re- 
mains of certain insects, animals, grass, and 
flowers of a thousand years of the Earth's prime. 

Hercules. Moreover, may there not also be 
hidden from us, in its adamantine heart, the 
blessed prints of some sweet baby's feet : a 
child that may have grown to man's estate and 
experienced feelings such as fill our own hearts 
this beautiful evening ? 



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XVI 

ARGENTONA 

At eleven o'clock, one fine May morning, we 
stepped into a luxurious American saloon car 
at the railway station of Barcelona. We were 
bound for Argentona, a retired place among the 
Catalan hills. 

Our way lay along the coast, and the sea was 
visible during the whole journey. The peasantry 
and factory operatives were sitting on the shore, 
enjoying the fresh, sweet air ; for it was Domingo ^ 
the day of rest. The hot sun hung like a ball of 
fire over the long expanses of sand, and over the 
gently heaving Mediterranean. The train moved 
slowly on beside the water, and a soft, vague, 
saltish smell — the scent of drying seaweed, 
mingled at times with the strong, heavy per- 
fume of flowers. People were bathing in the 
bright blue water. The contrast presented by 
their beautiful figures, and the deep colour of 
the ocean, was very lovely. At sight of their 



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194 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

naive and natural enjoyment, dim suppressed 
feelings of savagery awoke within us; the desire 
for a more ample, a less fettered life, took shape 
for a moment, and we felt almost inclined to 
jump from the footboard of the carriage on to 
the sands, there to divest ourselves of our hot 
apparel, and to plunge into the undulating water. 
Golden poppies danced on the strips of turf 
bordering the beach, and here and there shone 
marguerites, white as milk, among the harsh 
sea-grass. Fishermen were drawing in their 
huge seine, a curious multitude of holiday- 
makers looking on. Slowly the circle of the 
great net lessened, until the water became 
literally alive with shoals of silvery sardines. 
Then, with one strong and united effort, the 
mass of gleaming fish was landed, and sturdy 
bare-legged youths and old, swarthy marineros, 
began to fill their baskets with the catch. 
Rough jokes were freely indulged in. We 
saw two men engaged in a duel with cuttle- 
fish. Each antagonist was trying to besmear 
the other with the ink of the polypi. It was 
a fine affray, and the ending was dramatic. 
The smaller fellow closed with his opponent 
and forced him to his knees : he then crowned 
him with a huge octopus. No doubt these 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 95 

polypi were afterwards sold for food, as cuttle- 
fish is a staple article of diet in Catalufia. 
You cannot fail to recognise the leathery seg- 
ments of octopus when you discover them in 
your luncheon dish of rice and mixed meats. 
Unshelled mussels, too, enter into the compo- 
sition of that extraordinary olla, and also the 
entrails of fowls. 

Alighting at the station of MatanS, we found 
the tartana which was to whirl us through the 
dusty streets, and over the still dustier high- 
way, to Argentona, the hamlet beloved of the 
nightingales. 

Argentona lies at the feet of certain ruddy 
hills, covered with vines and umbrella pines. 
These trees are not devoid of beauty, although 
their size is neither large enough to be imposing, 
nor small enough to be insignificant. From the 
bosom of the hills Argentona looks down on a 
fruitful land, and on a smiling sea. One of the 
elevations is crowned with a most romantic little 
tower, perched on a cliff that seems hardly fit 
for anything larger than an eagle's eyrie. As 
the carriage approached the hotel, our gaze was 
constantly directed towards that feudal build- 
ing, strange romances filling our minds, — all 

steeped in mediaeval splendour. 

o — 2 



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I96 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

When we reached the hostelry, we found our 
friends sitting in the grateful shadow of some fine 
plane trees. Our new quarters had the honour 
of being not only the fonda, but also the Alcaldia 
Constitutional of Argentona. The worthy mayor 
himself looked after our comfort. 

A delightful hour was spent before luncheon 
in friendly gossip under the planes, whose silk- 
covered seeds began to be troublesome as the 
wind freshened in the early afternoon. The 
hedge of hydrangeas, not yet in flower, bordered 
upon the carrekra, or King's highway, and up 
and down this road passed the happy youths 
and maidens of Matar6, with jokes, and smiles, 
and respe&ful greetings. 

Our English entertainers and ourselves were 
the only visitors at Argentona — that is to say, 
the only paying or profitable visitors. We occu- 
pied a unique position. We were swallows that 
had arrived too early at a place where the land- 
lady was thoroughly convinced of the truth of 
a certain threadbare Aristotelian maxim; but, 
as we seemed to be the precursors of pleasant 
times, the hotel people beamed on us, as such 
folk know how to beam when their guests 
pay them well. Later in the year Barcelona's 
citizens flock hither, to get a cool whiff of wind 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 97 

during the August heats, and then the detached 
ball-room is bright with southern beauty, and 
the balconies are sweet with the presence of 
dark-eyed maidens, who lean over the balus- 
trades sighing for the summer moon. 
fc After a good lunch, beginning with savoury 
sardines and Sevillan Reinas, and ending with 
strawberries, all washed down with vino rancio, 
(an old red wine that would have gladdened the 
heart of Horace), we strolled forth into the sun. 
Passing through a potato field, we reached the 
country house of one of our acquaintances, who 
was then absent in the capital. This place was 
in the charge of a too-confiding dog. The poor, 
lonely animal seemed overjoyed to get our com- 
pany, and he uttered no protest when we made 
free with the wealth of roses in which the chalet 
was smothered. There were roses red, white, 
and purple — roses pink, yellow, and orange. 
The garden beds were full of them, the hedges 
were aflame with them; they shone in shady 
corners, and in the full blaze of the sun. The 
skies appeared to have rained roses on and 
around this summer resting-place. We might 
have been in Cashmere. If a company of 
odalisques had sallied forth from the darkened 
rooms of the casa we should not have been 



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198 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

surprised. Before us was a realisation of some 
of the ideas of light-hearted and musical Tom 
Moore, a glowing illustration of Swinburne's 
alliterative line, — " Red with the rain of the roses 
wer the red rose land" 

Leaving this perfumed garden, our way led us 
through sandy lanes, whose banks and hedges 
were a perfect revelation of floral beauty, In 
the heat of the afternoon an intense calm had 
fallen upon the idyllic scene. The birds were 
silent, the frogs were asleep, even the cicalas 
had succumbed to the drowsy influence of the 
siesta-time. Peace, older than the wrinkled hills, 
possessed the landscape. 

The pink convolvulus wreathed itself around 
the trunks of ilexes, catching the lower branches 
as if eager to climb to the sun. Pendulous 
white acacia blossoms swayed in the breeze, 
carmine thistles pranked the fields, and scarlet 
poppies glowed in the corn. There were great 
bushes of dog-roses, with woodbine rioting 
through them, as the honeysuckle loves to do 
in England ; and the beauty of the scene was 
enhanced, and made still more interesting, by 
the quiet, pensive loveliness of that sacred flower, 
the Rose of Sharon, which showed its pale petals 
in many a shadowy place along our pathway. 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 1 99 

We lay <down on a couch of sweet alyssum, 
and began to weave day-dreams. The shadows 
of a great evergreen oak flickered upon our faces. 
By and by a sonorous voice chanted — 

" An earth-born dreamer, constrained by the bonds of birth, 
Held fast by the flesh, compelled by his veins that beat 
And kindle to rapture or wrath, to desire or to mirth, 
May hear not surely the fall of immortal feet, 
May feel not surely if heaven upon earth be sweet ; 
And here is my sense fulfilled of the joys of earth, 
Light, silence, bloom, shade, murmur of leaves that meet." 

Nothing seemed left to be desired — nothing! 
Was this calm, this blithe repose, this exquisite 
forgetfulness, this lotos- eating, the secret of the 
beauty of Hellas ? Was this delicious* languor, 
this perfecl indifference to time, space, and being, 
a foretaste or a realisation of Heaven ? Under 
so serene a sky, surrounded by such satisfying 
beauty, it seemed that we would live for ever. 
I could think of others as dead, but I found it 
impossible to imagine my own body's inevitable 
annihilation. We are told that the conception 
of absolute non-existence is an effort beyond the 
power of our intellect. This is indeed true, for no 
one can think of himself as absolutely blotted out 
of life. " That the Ego can cease to exist while 
the world lives on, is an idea which cannot enter 
into our region of thought, bounded as it is on 



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200 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

all sides by the limitations of the Ego." 9 There- 
fore, when I tried to think of personal extinc- 
tion, I was confronted by a great void, at the 
edge of which my fancy paused, confessing 
itself unable to go farther. But this fruitless 
effort to anticipate time had, at least, one good 
effedt. For there, in an alien country, far re- 
moved from those English scenes which stir my 
heart so much, I became all at once possessed 
of a newer and stronger apprehension of the 
wonderful beauty and power of the world. 

Meanwhile the gentle wind, the hot sun, and 
the moisture left by the night's showers, worked 
their will upon an expanding pomegranate flower. 
It was in a hedge across the road. Like sleepy 
Sicilian shepherds, we lay and watched this lovely 
blossom almost perceptibly unfolding its petals. 
Delightful indeed it was thus to drowse, whilst 
Hercules discoursed upon multifarious themes 
with that placid insistence which becomes him 
so well. But for his lazy chatter how should 
we have known that the key-note of Mazzini's 
political doctrine may be summed up in one 
intelligible didlum : — that men must feel a sincere 
reverence for the past when they seriously hope 
for good in the future. This, it appears, is at the 
base of all the great political economist's ideas. 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 201 

Whilst discussing Mazzini and Italy the day 
began visibly to wane. A most romantic night- 
ingale awoke in a neighbouring grove of pines, 
breaking the stillness with his vociferous, reite- 
rative plaint. His song reminded me of some 
pretty passages in Damar£'s piccolo music, 
" Echoes. from the Wood." He seemed to be a 
very Catullus of a bird, and his gusts of passion- 
ate, lovesick, vehement yearning took our fancy 
more than a little. I, too, was at that time in a 
lover's humour, so for the nonce I spoke my 
passion vicariously through the throbbing throat 
of Philomel. I found it very pleasant to lie on 
the turf, half asleep, and allow the nightingale to 
flute my messages of affection. We are always, 
though often unconsciously, sending telepathic 
signals to those whom we love. The beloved is 
often nearer than we imagine. Somehow I felt 
the presence of my heart's desire ; and it was to 
her who was there in spirit, though materially 
severed from me by so many miles of shimmer- 
ing sea — to her whose soul was side by side with 
mine in that lovely waking dream, — that the rui- 
senor had so much to say on my behalf. Listen- 
ing intently to his simple melody, all at once I 
heard him give utterance to a pretty piece of 
piping very much different from his customary 



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202 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

song. It was almost a laugh — birds must 
surely sometimes laugh — but, before long, this 
mirth had ceased, and my little Catullus had 
descended the scale of feeling until he finished 
his singing with a sob. Vox et preUrea nihil! 
Yet his voice stirred me to the depths of my 
heart, giving rise to many pleasurable and many 
painful reflections. The last vocal transition 
from gay to grave especially reminded me of 
the fad* that birds, like men, have their come- 
dies. At times the very air sparkles with their 
wit and humour. Yet again, like men, they 
are afflicted with weary hours of melancholy, 
when their shady temples are full of the sinister 
gloom of tragedy. 

And we, alas, were not to be entirely exempt 
from sadness, even in the intense repose of that 
halcyon afternoon, for when an incautious refe- 
rence was made to an unhappy event long-buried 
in the past, one of our number arose and slowly 
walked away. In a moment we knew our error, 
and how one word had stirred the smouldering 
ashes on the pyre of true love, but we could do 
nothing but look our regret. 

After dinner we took the hillward path. The 
pretty mallow, and the undying blooms of the 
yellow helichrysum, graced the wayside. Climb- 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 203 

ing higher we were ' ravished by the pomp of 
glorious masses of golden broom. Never losing 
sight of the little tower far away on the summit 
of one of the hills, we entered the grounds 
of a country house, which might have been the 
palace of the Sleeping Beauty. There we halted 
to regain our breath, before the brilliant yellow 
of a mimosa, which almost put the broom to 
shame. 

In the party was a man whose heart had never 
been unlocked by the key of a woman's love. 
He laughed immoderately whilst our married 
couple discussed conjugal respecl. Their de- 
liberations had been started by some reference 
to the nightingale's protestations of love. 

" Ah, my dear," said Sefior M , " recollect 

what the troubadour William de Mur asked of 
Giraud, whose knowledge he had heard extolled: 
• Which ought to use the most ardent endeavour 
to please, the lover already rewarded, or the lover 
in the state of uncertainty ? ' " 

" The former, undoubtedly," cried the Senora, 
who is not Flamenco, in tastes like so many of her 
friends, but a high-bred womanly woman. " I 
am sure Giraud must have replied that the lover 
already rewarded ought to be the most attentive 
of the two." 



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204 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

"Yes, I believe he did," continued Seiior 

M , " but William de Mur pointed out at 

once that the most scrupulous devotion on the 
part of the rewarded lover is contrary to £a<5l in 
both animals and human beings. He instanced 
the case of the nightingale, which, while pursuing 
his mate, exerts all his skill, and sings with the 
most enchanting sweetness ; but when possession 
comes, hife notes grow careless and less impas- 
sioned. Thus with mankind." 

" My husband is making out a bad case for 
himself," laughed the Senora, " but I must again 
remind him of Giraud's further reply : ' Merit 
cannot be weakened by possession, nor true 
tenderness be lessened by reward.' To my mind 
nightingales are absolutely incapable of senti- 
ment. One ought never to be so solicitous to 
please as when treated with tenderness and 
love." 

Thus chattering we continued on our way 
upwards, between banks of roses, beneath the 
captured sunlight of the laburnums, past hedges 
of flowering laurels, and sweet-smelling box and 
myrtle, until we arrived at the artificial lake. 
Here, at the end of the sheet of water, a little 
eight-year-old friend peeped in the glassy wave 
to mark the lethargic gold fish making their 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 205 

languid volutions. Fairest flower in all the Eden- 
like scene was this beautiful blue-eyed girl, the 
reflection of whose laughing British face looked 
up from the shadow-netted water. The clove 
carnations at her throat, and her sunbright curls 
floating in beautiful disarray, helped to make as 
pretty a picture of transient beauty as human 
eyes could wish to feast upon, " Wh ruhrmdf 
wit ruhrend!" were the words that involuntarily 
framed themselves on my lip$ when she smiled 
and took my hand, bidding me walk with her. 

Those who love the works of the late John 
Addington Symonds may perhaps remember that 
in his book on Davos there is a description ot a 
gymnastic festival at Zurich, when all the clubs 
of Switzerland united to make a grand display. 
Symonds was present t and he evidently enjoye4 
himself. One day fye was watching some thou- 
sand or so of fine athletes performing their 
exercises. The sight pf so much manly beauty 
and proud vigour appears to have almost thrilled 
his frail body with a sudden accession of strength 
At his side, however, there was an old German 
from Munich who was very differently affected. 
He wept copiously, ever and anon sighing, 
" Wit ruhrend I wit ruhrend /" To many, such an 
exhibjtipn of weakness would jseem well-nigfy 



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206 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

inexplicable. But I do not find this feeling, 

as of a far too fleeting youth, at all difficult 

to understand. Our flesh is indeed grass ; the 

grass withereth, the flower fadeth; and, alas 

that it should be said, a thing of beauty is not 

a joy for ever ! Who is there among us^who 

has not at some time or other suddenly found 

himself confronted with the appalling fact that 

his youth is irrevocably gone. The fairy vision 

that he unconsciously imagined to be still about 

him has disappeared. Some trifling act, a word, 

a mere glance perhaps, reveals the awful chasm 

that separates him from younger and stronger 

men. These rude awakenings, these paralysing 

shocks, come like bolts from the blue. By the 

momentary blaze of mental lightning we divine 

our irreparable loss, and the deprivation that must 

inevitably be borne by others ; and it is in the 

glare of this inward light that the spirit cries 

out in agony, " Wie rtihrcnd / wie riihrend I " 

But the golden-haired child perceived no trace 
of this mental disturbance when she saw my face 
near hers in the water mirror. Nevertheless 
some shadow of my feeling must have been 
apparent, because a certain Spaniard of our 
party gave us a long quotation from Campoamor, 
which was not altogether inappropriate to my 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 20J 

mood. At the farther end of the estattque there 
was a cluster of native girls, who made a lovely 
Grecian group under the roses and the arbor- 
vitae. They were very young, and very charming. 
Their incomparable teeth flashed in the sun. 
Spanish women do not ruin their dicntes with tea 
and other hot liquids: the hard bread of the 
Peninsula polishes the enamel to a pearly lustre. 
One of these Catalan maidens was tall and 
statuesque, a marvel of easy grace and natural 
refinement. Fondly imagining that his arrow of 
cunning insinuation would strike my breast, our 
Madrileno friend chanted rather than recited the 
following lines : 

" Ve un hombre amante a una mujer muy bella ; 
Mas, por fatal disposicion del hado, 

Ella es mas joven, y el 
Calk su amor, porque le apartan de ella 
Treinta afios, en que el triste ha derramado 

Un mar de llanto y hid." 

But the poet of the party was worse than the 
man from Madrid. He was simply lost in 
admiration of the girls, calling our attention to 
their vivacious eyes, which reminded him of 
dewy sloes with the bloom rubbed off. He 
quoted Winckelmann : " In the conformation of 
the face the Greek profile is the first and prin- 
cipal attribute of a high style of beauty." He 



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208 IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

waxed eloquent about their refle&ions in the 
little lake, and spoke of the Bath of Psyche, and 
other works of art. Meanwhile the muckachas 
looked on in mute amazement. " Life is made 
poetic and bearable only by the play of the 
imagination," said the poet, in a warm outburst 
of quite unappreciated flattery. " I imagine that 
I see a Tennysonian woman, I will therefore 
approach the nymphs, and speak to the tall 
one." He was as good as his word. Stepping 
up to the group, he cried — 

" At length I saw a lady within call, 
Stiller than chisell'd marble standing there ; 
A danghter of the gods, divinely tall 
And most divinely fair." 

This was too much for the maidens, who turned 
and fled. As they rushed through the trigo fields, 
running as fast as partridges, they doubtless re- 
peated the equivalent of that well-worn and 
somewhat applicable Castilian phrase, "/Que 
locos los inglms J " Following their footsteps, and 
laughing at their hysterical shrieks of amuse- 
ment, we traversed the cornfields, passed through 
a narrow by-way— a veritable camino de perdices — 
and finally came out at the mineral spring. Here 
several worthy folk were taking the waters, 
and a pair of pretty girls were filling their cool, 



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IDYLLS OF SPAIN 209 

earthen pitchers — the porous, amphora-shaped 
edntaros — which keep their contents icy-cold even 
in the fiercest sun. These people moved away at 
bur approach, with gentle greetings and pleasant 
looks of welcome. Then the moon arose, and 
all at once a thousand frogs began to croak. 
The voices of the ruisehores were entirely lost 
in the harsh clamour. We hurried back to our 
hotel in the perfumed gloaming. Subtle scents 
that had not been perceived by day were now 
rising from the damp hedgerows. Certain blos- 
soms give off their odour only in the night, and 
all sweet flowers have a special time for the dis- 
tillation of perfumes, so as to attract their 
friends, the fertilizing flies and moths. Thus 
it follows that a flower, like a human being, is 
not always at its sweetest. 

When we reached our quarters we repaired to 
the ballroom, where we gladdened ourselves for 
a brief hour with English music and Highland 
dances. Delicious it was to have our spirits re- 
freshed with melodies of home, away there amid 
the ruddy vine-covered hills of Spain, After- 
wards, when all the others had retired, I betook 
myself to the balcony, to watch the Pleiades 
slowly fall, like great drops of dew, from branch 
to branch of the plane trees. There I sat for 

p 



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2IO IDYLLS OF SPAIN 

hours in a strange reverie, striving to grasp the 
meaning of life, and to answer that unanswer- 
able word, "Wherefore?" Calderon's famous 
line became at last the dominant thought, the 
inevitable conclusion — "La vida es sueno" for 
life is indeed a dream. 



THE END. 



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INDEX 



Achurch, Miss J., 145 

Aedon, 5 

Agriculture of Spain, 65, 95, 

105, in, 128. 
Alagon, in 
Albergas (Taverns), 23, 64, 

74- , 
Alcaldes (Mayors), 23 
Alfabig, The Caliph, 114 
Alfonso el Sabio, 185 
Almogavares, The, 99 
Almuctaman, The Caliph, 

"3 
Almuerzos (Lunches), 24, 26, 

76, 197. 
Alsasua, 56, 77, 89 
Amadis de Gaul, 159 
Americans, 5, 37, 124, 130, 

172 
Ampurdan, The, 186 
Andalucia, 111, 160, 167, 

169 
Andoain, 14 

Andorra, Republic of, 166 
Andronicus Paleologos, 163 
Aragon, Prov. of, 109, 132, 

185 
Aragon river, 96 
Araquil, Valley of the, 57, 

88, 89 
Arga river, 62 
Argentona, 193, 195 



Aristocracy of Spain, 69, 70, 

72, 149, 186. 
Aristophanes, 89 
Aristotle, 196 
Arrigoriaga, 46 
Artists, 96 
Astarte, 18 
Asturias, The, 155 
Atlantis, 36. 
Baal, 18 

Banu Hud Dynasty, 135 
Barcelona, 69, 125, 152, 153, 

175, 176, 187, 197 
Basques, The, 12, 17, 34, 38 
Bay of Biscay, 22 
Beasain, 17, 23. 
Beauty of Women, 101 
Bell Puig, 166 
Bell-frog, 38, 41 
Benjamin of Tudela, 99, 132 
BeteW, 74, 133, 152 
Biarritz, 6, 17 
Bilbao, 34, 44, 45 
Birds, 5, 13, 32, 41, 47, 50, 

65,79,81,82,84,85,103, 

105, 107, in, 131, 160, 

201 
Bishops and Archbishops, 

136, 145. 148 
Black, William, no 
Bois du Boulogne, 4 
Bordeaux, 6, 92 



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212 



INDEX 



Borrow, George, 117, 118, 

119 
Bourgeoisie of Spain, 7, 70, 

187 
Brangwyn, Frank, 15 
British Travellers, 9 
Browning, 50, 94 
Bulls and Bullfighters, 107, 

147, 182 
Burns, 62, 90 
Bute, The Marquis of, 164 
Calaf, 168 
Calais, 3 
Calderon, 210 
CalesTose, 146 
Calle Estevanez, 146 
Calle San Lorenzo, 134, 139 
Campoamor Ramon, 150, 

206, 207 
Cardinals, 148, 166 
Carlists, The, 20, 27 
Castejon, 95, 98, 125 
Castile. 150 
Castillo de la Mota, 14 
Castles, &c, 14, 167, 169, 

195 
Catalufia, 151, 172, 180, 195 
Cathedrals, 67, 146, 148 
Catholic Congress, The, 139, 

146, 148 
Catullus, 201 
Cegama, 22, 25, 32 
Cervantes, 8, 109, no, 126 
Cervera, 167 
Champs Elysees, 4 
Character, Spanish, 187 
Cheiromancy, 121 
Churches, 27, 81 
Cid, The, 40, 113 
Civil Guards, The (Guardia 

Civil), 70 
Columbus, 31, 190 
Comidas (Dinners), 8, 58, 149 



Coniston, 168 

Corrida de NoviHos, 147 

Costumes 109 

Crichton, The Admirable, 1 77 

Curas (Priests), 3, 52, SS, 

130 
Damare, 201 
Dances of Spain, 82, 99 
De Castro, Rosalia, 151 
De Foix, Le Comte, 184 
De Lauria, Roger, 184 
De Mur, William, 203 
Decay of Spain, 73, 159 
Desayunos (Breakfasts), 96 
Dinosaurs, 157 
Disafforestation, 128, 167, 

Dover, 

Don Bernardino de Sarria, 

188 
Don Carlos, 20 
Don Juan Tenorio, 55, 150 
Don Quixote, 8, 126 
Dragons, 100, 158 
Durango, 44 
Ebro nver, 96, 98, 112, 113, 

122 
Echari-Aranaz, 56, 89 
Eibar, 36, 43 
El Chacq, 36 
Ermua, 44 
"Espafia Agreste" (Wild 

Spain), 21 
Espronceda, 108 
Euskara Language, 36 
Ezekiel, The Prophet, 133. 
Factories. 25, 171, 193 
Falstaff, 18 

Ferdinand and Isabella, 30 
Ferns, 24 
Fishes, 63, 184, 190, 194, 

204 
Flaubert, 191 



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INDEX 



213 



Flowers, &c, 3, 6, 12, 16, 
2i, 22, 23, 24, 48, 51, 59, 
63, 66, 81, 83, 84, 85, 100, 
109, 157, 168, 169, 170, 
175, 176, 188, 194, 197, 
198, 202, 203, 204, 205, 
209 

Fondas (Hotels), 57, 133, 
134, 140, 148, 168 

Fortune-telling, 120, 121 

French people, 9, 10, 75 

Friar Tuck, 4 

Fruit, 148, 168 

Fueros of the Basques, 39 

Galicia, 155 

Gallegos, The, 153 

Gallur, 106, 107 

Gamay Noir Grapes, 165 

Game (Caza) of Spain, 53, 
77. 85* 105, in 

Garinoain. 129 

Gerona, 186 

Gibraltar, 165 

Gipsies {GUanas\ 114, 123 

Giraud, 203 

Guipuzcoa, 8, 12, 14, 17 

Guzman the Good, 100 

Hazlitt, 180 

Heine, 150 

Hendaye, 7 

Herbert, 56 

"Hercules," 179, 200 

Hernani, 15, 18 

Hoes, the painter, 126 

Homer's Iliad, 30 

Honeymooners, 3, 37 

Horace, 197 

Huarte Araquil, 89 

Ibex, 53 

Ignacio Loyola, 4, 30, 61 

Improvisator An, 39 

Insects, 62, 77, 89, 107, 109, 
142,209 



lngmieros de Monies ', 128 

Interiors, 19, 29, 74 

Irun, 7, 34 

Inirzun, 74, 88 

Itylus, 5 

Jabah (Wild Boar), 20, 21 

Jackdaw of Rheims, 148 

James, King of Aragon, 188 

Jerga (Bull-fighters slang), 
107 

Keats, 41, 157 

La Fleur, 5 

"La Florista Morena," 188 

"La Verbena de la Paloma," 
189 

Lammergeyer, The, 32, 86 

Landladies, 18, 25, 57, 75 

Landscapes, 15, 46, 47, 60, 
61,78,83,89,93,98,160, 
no, III, 112, 122, 128, 
131, 157, 167, 169, 175, 
189, 193, 198 

Las Dos Hermanas, 85, 86 

Leprosy, 172 

Lerida, 152, 155 

Lisbon, 3 

Litterateurs > 124, 132 

Llobregat river, 171 

Lope de Vega, 73 

Los Cortes de Sarria, 188 

Lourdes, 3 

Loyola, Ignacio, 4, 30, 61 

Luceni, 107, 108 

Lycurgus, 188 

Madrazo, 126 

Madrid, 29, 69 

Malaga, 25 

Mafoasia\Mafooisie), 163 

Malzaga, 43 

Manresa, 170, 172 

" Margerita," 49 

Mary, Queen of Scots, 149 

Matar6, 195, 196 



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214 



INDEX 



Matheu Francesch, 151 
Maupassant, 191 
Mazzini, 200 
«' Media Luna," 180 
Mediterranean. The, 22, 154, 

163, 190. 193 
Mestres Apeles, 151 
Millet, Francis, 21 
Miranda, 34 
Mistress Quickly, 18 
Monistrol, 171, 172 
Monte Aitzgorri, 22 
Monte Orgullo, 14 
Montserrat, Hills of, 1 69, 

170, 171 
Moore, Tbos., 198 
Moors, The, 113, 135, 176 
Mugaire, 61 
Municipal matters, 140, 187, 

188, 196 
Mus , The Game of, 38 
Napier, 171 
Navarra, 14, 81, 94 
Navarra, A Girl of, 103 
Navarrese Hills, 62, 74, 96, 

128 
Nervion river, 45 
"Nightingale, The," 177 
Nightingales, 5, 13, 4*1 82, 

107, 108, 201, 204, 209 
Norte Railway, 46 
Notaries, 28 

Nunez de Arce, Gaspar, 150 
Olacueta-Beriz, 44 
Omelettes {Tortillas), 26, 

170 
Orduna, 46 
Painters of Spain, 126 
Falencia (Guipuzcoa), 43 
Pamplona. 56, 62, 67, 82, 92, 

124, 133 
Pasajes, 15, 17 
Paseo de Colon, 189 



Peasantry, 21, 50, 70, 79, 82, 
84, 89, 94, in, 193, 208 

Pedrola, 109 

Pelota, Game of, 79, 88, 159 

" Pepito, ' 146, 149 

Perochegui, 36 

Perseus and Andromeda, 158 

PlacidodeBarrena, 141, 147, 
149 

Plasencia (The Painter), 126 

Plato, 127 

Playas (Sea-fronts), 13, 189, 

193 
Plazas de Toros (Bull-rings), 8 
Plazuela de Sas, 146 
Poets of Spain, 108, 150, 151 
Portillo bulls, 107 
Posadas (Inns), 18 
Pradilla, 126 
Processions, 70, 147, 148 
Puentes (Bridges), 64, 98 
Puerta de la Paz, 180, 189 
Pyrenees, The, 63, 128, 156, 

166, 167 
Queen Elizabeth, 150 
Queen Isabella, 149 
Queen Victoria, 149 
Rajadell, 170 
Rambla de los Flores, 188 
Religious matters, 70, 71, 73, 

89, H7, I53» 166 
Renteria. 15 
Rioja Wine, 37, 162 
RiscalWine, 162 
Rivaforada, 92, 101, 104, 105 
Rosas, 186 
Roussillon, 186 
Ruskin, 97 
Sabadell, 172, 175 
San Feliu, 186 
San Lorenzo, Plaza de, 134 
San Miguel, 74, 87 
San Pol, 186 



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INDEX 



215 



San Sebastian, 7, 12, 17 

Sanitation, 140 

Santa Fe, Castle of, 167 

Sarri*, 188 

Schubert, 182 

Segura, 19, 22 

Serenos (Watchmen), 14, 40 

Seville, 25 

Shakespeare, 94, 143, 145 

Sierra de Gredos, 53 

Sierra de San Adrian, 22 

Sitges, 163 

Skiddaw, 180 

Somorosstro Mines, 45 

Songs of Spain, 90 

Spanish Politeness, 139, 187 

Spring, Aspect of, 12, 47, 51, 

129, 168 
St. Mark's Day, 17 
Sterne, Lawrence, 5, 141 
Sunsets, 131 

Swinburne, 13, 190, 198, 199 
Symonds, John Aldington, 

205 
Table Manners, 9 
Tarrega, Fort of, 166 
Tarresa, 172 

Taylor, the Water-poet, 63 
Tennyson, 167, 200 
Theatres, 68 
Thrushes, 12 
Tolosa, 32, 74, 81, 89 
Trees, &c, 15, 16, 59, 62, 

63, 93, 122, 129, 131, 167, 

168, 169, 174, 195, 196, 

199, 204, 207 



"Trinidad," 188 

Tudela, 98, 132 

Urban people, character of, 

159 
Urgel, Plain of, 166 
Urumea river, 8 
Valdepenas Wine, 162 
Valladolid, 107 
Vayreda, 126 
Velasquez, 162 
Verdaguer Jacinto, 151 
Vergara, 42 
Verses, 39, 106, 173 
Villava, 56, 64 
Village, A typical, 88 
Vintage of Castell Coch, 164 
Viticulture, 160, 165 
Vizcaya, 47 
Vizco el Borje, 182 
Vultures, 84, 85, 86, 87, 105 
Wagner, 183 
Walton, Izaak, 63, 64 
Watson, William, 66 
Wellington, 89 
"Wild Spain," 21 
Winckelmann, 207 
Wines, 10, 11, 37, 58, 90, 

161, 165, 197 
Xio, 163 
Yucatan, 36 
Zaragoza, 112, 113, 124 133, 

153 
Zorrilla, Jos6, 150 
Zuasti, 89 
Zumalcarregui, 27 
Zum&rraga, 34, 42 



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PBIBTBD BT B. POLKABO AFD SOB, 

S3, DITOKBBfftK BTBEBT, QOIIOI SQUABB, BL00M8BUBT, 

LOVDOJ, W.O. 



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THB NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY 
REFERENCE DEPARTMENT 



This book is under no circumstances to 
taken from the Building 



1915 



MAY 2 2 



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«.a 




ooglej 







T 

"''Hill